The term ‘next of kin’ is usually misunderstood by the public. Many people think that when a person is appointed as next of kin, it automatically allows such person to inherit the estate of the individual who appointed him or her.
Many married couples use their spouses as the next of kin while some use their first child and others use the first male child. There may also be some people who use their brothers or sisters as next of kin.
A next of kin is a title that can be given by you to anyone, from your partner to blood relatives and even friends. It is also possible to name more than one person as your next of kin.
This title is used majorly in times of emergency services to know who to keep informed about an individual’s condition or treatment. In this article, we would be examining who is best suited to be given the title of your next of kin, and the reasons why it is advisable to make use of such people.
The term next of kin was defined in the case of JOSEPH V FAJEMILEHIN to mean the nearest blood relative of a person. It can also refer to a person who can be contacted or notified in cases of emergencies or eventualities.
For instance, when a person intends to travel with a public transport, he would be asked to provide the details of his next of kin. This is needed in cases where there is an accident, so that such a person will be notified.
Also in hospitals, it would be required that the next of kin of a person is provided where such person is incapacitated or unable to make certain medical decisions.
In choosing your next of kin, it is advisable to use someone who you trust. This is because the situations where you are bound to need them are situations that can only be handled by someone who will only have your best interests at heart.
Furthermore, it is also important that you use a person who is an adult. Using your child who has not reached the age of maturity is not advisable, as when situations of emergency arise, the child would not be able to take certain important decisions for you.
Appointing a person as your next of kin does not automatically mean that they will inherit your property, neither is it equivalent to you making a will. What it means is that you have appointed someone who you think can make the best decisions for you in times of emergencies.