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27 June, 2011

Elite Kenyan Families Lack Proper Estate Planning.

Lately we have witnessed some bizarre incidents involving families of some elite Kenyans Fighting over the asset of a deceased family member.

Apart from infighting between family members unknown characters appear from nowhere, claiming to be related to the deceased,The sole intention being getting a slice of the estate.

All this drama can easily be avoided by a simple estate plan.Estate planning is essentially attempts to eliminate uncertainties over the administration of an estate of a deceased person as well as grow the value of the estate by avoiding unnecessary taxes and expenses.

Most people prefer a will(A document that names beneficiaries of the estate) which is good,but it should also be accompanied by an assigned lawyer and a living will(A document that gives a person wishes regarding life prolonging medical treatment)

Involvement of the beneficiaries in the drafting of the estate plan May reduce the possibility of nasty family disputes in future.If the family unit is strong, a family member can be chosen as an executor, but if there is a possibility of a strife by doing so, an independent lawyer, although costly, is advisable.

Another way to manage an estate is by using a Trust. A trust fund is something that is set up for individuals or even organizations and charities that allow the person making the trust to set provisions on the money and other assets inside the trust.Trusts are considerably more complex than executing a last Will, but they offer substantially more protection. Several types of trusts exist and each offers pros and cons. However, all require a legal Will and designated Trustee to oversee estate settlement procedures.

The trustees, as legal owners of the trust's property, administer the affairs of the trust this may include investing the assets of the trust, ensuring trust property is preserved and productive for the beneficiaries, accounting for and reporting periodically to the beneficiaries concerning all transactions associated with trust property, filing any required tax returns on behalf of the trust, and other duties.Depending on the terms in the trust instrument, the trustee might decide weather a beneficiary would receive trust assets for their benefit.

Estate planning is involving, but very critical in ensuring a demise does not result into a soap opera that tears the private affairs of a family into a public spectacle.

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