Update SSNIT records with right beneficiaries: Law Lecturer advises contributors

Source The Ghana Report

A NUMBER of workers who sign onto the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) upon their employment fail to update the records of their beneficiaries.

This anomaly has resulted in the unfair transfer of countless property into the wrong hands, leaving the direct beneficiaries with nothing in the event of death.

A Law Lecturer at the Ghana Law School, Augustines Obour, amplified the sad narrative when he addressed parishioners of the St John the Evangelist Catholic Church at Frafraha, near Adenta, in the Greater Accra Region, to mark this year’s Father’s Day.

He, therefore, urged SSNIT contributors who usually signed onto the scheme before marriage or childbirth to visit the pension fund and update their records.

Sad story

He cited an instance where a 94-year-old woman was brought from Drobo in the Bono Region to Accra to plead with SSNIT to give her a portion of her deceased son’s property.

“The son died without a will and so PNDC Law 111 had to be applied. The wife of the deceased captured everything,” Mr Obuor said, adding that per the law, the property of the deceased had to be given to his wife.

He said SSNIT contacted him on the issue, “but for us lawyers, with the law we do not have an old woman.”

“The man did not change the nominations when he signed on with SSNIT and the nomination was the brother, and so we cannot change it. So, we just looked at the old woman and asked her to go back in pain.

“Meanwhile, the deceased had four houses – one in Accra, two in Techiman and one in Berekum – but he did not make a will so there was nothing we could do but to go with PNDC Law 111,” Mr Obour, popularly called Lawyer Obuor, told the parishioners.

Consequently, as his Father’s Day gift, he advised all men to visit the nearest SSNIT office to update their documents, making sure that they put in the rightful beneficiaries.

Lawyer Obuor further admonished all Ghanaians, especially men, to make their will to avoid unnecessary litigations in the event of death.

He dismissed the notion that making a will was an indication that a person was about to die.

“I’m telling you that making a will has nothing to do with death,” he said, citing a personal example that he made his will at age 31 and was still alive after more than 20 years.

Mr Obour expressed concern that most men shied away from any discussion on making a will, stressing that a will avoided over 95 per cent of litigations on a deceased’s property.

He said it was sad that most families did not discuss the issue of will, “but we must discuss will in our homes,” insisting that the current inter-ethnic marriages had made the subject more pressing and compelling.

Mr Obour explained that when a will was made, the lawyer kept a copy, likewise the one making the will, stressing that with that nobody could contest for the property of the deceased.


He revealed that most of the commercial courts in the country were choked with litigation over properties.

“Recently, we opened the Adenta Court here. If you go there on Tuesdays, the courts are choked because of litigations.

“Now you go to court in April, they give you a date in October,” Mr Obuor said, insisting that all the back and forth in the court were based on property cases.

He said, for instance, that in Accra alone, there were more than 50 land courts but all were always choked with litigations on properties.

Mr Obour said all those who died without a will, and the sharing of the property had to go by the PNDC Law 111, would definitely end up in court.

He explained that if a man died without a will, and the sharing of the property had to be done based on  PNDC Law 111, everything would have to go to his wife.

“This is because, it was a patrilineal President who made that for a matrilineal family and so, obviously there is a problem with it.

“If you die without a will, that law will operate and definitely, almost every time, you have to go to court,” he added, stressing that such cases often landed in court because the siblings of the deceased, who supported him in school, would not just sit down and allow the wife to take over all the property.

He said the good thing was that a person did not need to wait for instance until after completing a house or buying a dream vehicle. “We put a provision in the will for you that if you should acquire such a vehicle or build such a house that is not in the will, it should go to your last born,” he added.

Mr Obour said a will could be changed at anytime, and so the beneficiaries could be changed at any given day or time, “the important thing is that you have made a will.”

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