Until an emergency or an unexpected event occurs, the majority of us postpone certain tasks as our mindset is that it can always be done later; there are other more "important" things to focus on. The unexpected Covid-19 crisis has brought into sharp focus the necessity for families to carry out their estate and succession planning. Critically, the risks and complications arising within families and family-owned businesses from a lack of planning will be costly and likely to result in a significant loss in the value of family assets.
To begin with, we would recommend that you devote time to review and update your personal documentation and carry out your estate and succession planning given that there could be a number of issues to be thought out carefully with your family.
For example, is your medical insurance cover appropriate for your family's current requirements? Are all your documents such as title deeds, pension plan, life policy, shareholdings, investment documentation, passport and other identification documents all in order?
You may have various local and overseas bank accounts; will the ability to operate these accounts be hampered in the event of death or disability? Do you have a will in place which sets out your wishes on the preferred distribution of your local and overseas assets to your preferred beneficiaries? If you have assets in multiple jurisdictions, how do you determine which country's succession laws would apply to your estate?
As you consider putting your house in order, we have put together a comprehensive article in which we set out some key legal issues to consider in the Kenya context, as well as in connection with multi-jurisdictional estate planning and applicable estate planning mechanisms. Read the full article here.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.