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Educate Kenyans on wills and unclaimed assets

In Summary

• Writing a will is the smart thing to do. 

• Without one, cash and assets revert to the state, while families engage in years-long challenges to claim their 'fair share',

A bundle of money.
A bundle of money.
Image: FILE

A 2018 financial status report released last week by the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority indicates that it is holding Sh10 billion belonging to Kenyans.

Such assets include bank savings and deposits, cheques and drafts, money orders and funds held or owing under any life insurance or endowment 

According to the report, no one has claimed the assets, in contrast with 2017 when 1,581 claims were made.

Most of this cash and other assets belong to deceased persons who never brought their assets to the attention of their relatives.

 We have read many stories about families quarrelling bitterly about estates when there was no will. Battles can go one for years.

Two issues arise here: First, secrecy about your property disadvantages your family upon your death, and second, wills play an important role in identifying and distributing your property.

But on the flip side, it seems the authority has done little to sensitise Kenyans on its existence and role

The authority must educate the public on its mandate and role. It also has to roll out its activities to the counties to reach more people.

But the bottom line is this: Do do not hide your assets from your family and to manage any fallouts upon death, write a will.

Quote of the Day: “A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.”

John Stuart Mill

The British philosopher, political economist and civil servant was born on May 20, 1806.