Wills and handover notes in transition planning headline discussions as FEDSAS schoolmates gathered in reunion, 40 years after Aba.

“Do not allow yourself to die without a will”, Olatunbosun Olanipekun, SAN, urged his mates Saturday, 23 April 2022, as they gathered for their forty-year reunion, 700 kilometres away from Aba, where they met at the Federal School of Arts and Science.

Olanipekun added, “Make a will. It is not enough to write a paper giving some things to certain children. Spell it out in the presence and signature of two witnesses.”

Enugu-based barrister, Ekeneme Ike (Kellas) and Olanipekun cautioned their classmates to commence putting their homes in order.

“Prepare inter-vivos and wills”, they repeated. Inter Vivos is a Latin phrase which means “while alive” or “between the living”. It is primarily applicable in property law and refers to various legal actions a person takes while still alive such as giving gifts, creating trusts, or conveying property.

Things to do consider in inter vivo:

  1. Establish ventures for your children.
  2. Bring them into your ventures.
  3. Make a will specifying the distribution of your assets.
  4. Create a trust for the management and distribution of incomes arising from your estate.

Double Jeopardy

The matter of wills and assets distribution affects the women particularly, the ladies stated. Women stand in double jeopardy: They cannot initiate the conversation, for one, and society places additional constraints on them as they could lose all in the name of tradition. The women asked critical questions.

Does a Marriage Under the Act (church or court) protect the woman if death occurs? Or what is the essence of a legal marriage if the woman cannot step into ownership of assets in the event of death?

The ladies subtly suggested that their classmates show good examples of care for their wives and families.

Stay away from hospital

Severe reflections on health, wellness and legacy interspersed the gathering of the former lads and lasses who met forty years ago in Aba. For most, the meeting at the Knightsbridge Hotel, Ikeja, was their first meeting since then.

The Reunion Committee put in three short talks and motivation sessions, each to last no more than 30 minutes, including Q&A. The session on “Wills, Handover Notes and Other Transition Legal Documents” excited triple its share of attention and time.

No surprise there. Participants are all over 55. Class President Johnson Onyekachi Owanta submitted that we are all in the early evening of our lives. The subjects reflected concerns appropriate for that phase of life.

Two sessions dealt with health, one on “managing your changing phases and faces” while we shared experiences on the night of arrival.

Damian Izuka, a fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, asked his classmates to “stay away from the hospital” at this phase of life.

“Hospitals are pooling places for sick people. It is a high risk exercise visiting hospitals particularly for the immunosuppressed, elderly, infants, surgery patients and more.”

Three things to help stay away from hospital are diet, rest (good sleep) and exercise, he said. Eat healthy now by avoiding saturated fats contained in butter, cheese, ice cream, fried foods, beef, cookies, refined vegetable oils. Then move your body regularly through exercise and ensure adequate sleep.

It was an exciting three days away from the regular. Members came in from the United States, UK, Abuja, Umuahia, Benin City and Lagos. Others joined online.

The Intervening Years

The bios of the FEDSAS Class of 80-82 were a delight to compile for the anniversary brochure. “Our class has fulfilled the promise of our youth”, I noted. They are achievers in various fields.

The theme of the gathering was fittingly 40 Years of Transformation and Transition. Technology through WhatsApp enabled the reconnection two years ago and the reunion in April 2022. The Class of 1982 transformed their lives in forty years and are now in transition mode.

Members left with a resolve to be even more strategic in this new phase of life. To do something that approximates the highest level of the Maslow Coefficient, ensuring legacy and contributing to societal wellbeing and upbuilding.

If you are 50 and above, have you done your will or Inter Vivo?

As FEDSAS school mates gathered in reunion, 40 years after Aba.