Lately, the trend is that people are dying with more wealth and
families are more complicated and disintegrated, hence the inheritance wars are very common. Resentment, suspicion and mistrust dominate wealthy families, as they each eye on the successes of their parents, wondering what they will inherit. Some even wish death to their parents so they can inherit sooner than
A feuding family took their disabled rich dad from a hospital bed, took him in the forest and killed him with sulphuric acid!....remember the kirima saga- broadcasted all over Kenya and even the `poor' man went missing for a while.
This shows that some members are willing to go any distance to get what they have not worked for. I did not inherit anything apart from education, and I am doing well, right? If the culture of inheritance is eradicated, people will be hard working without relying on family fortunes. On the other hand, Maybe if millions were involved I would rethink my statements.
Diasporas are losing much on inheritance as siblings in Africa convince parents that they do not need the so called inheritance. Kenyans dying abroad are leaving everything to their families in Kenya as their own kids are not considered, most do not even know the process on how they can reclaim their parents investment back in Kenya. There is a need to revisit the issue of inheritance. Just imagine all those shifts then your child is left with nothing!
The best way to make sure that your hard earned money does not become the breaking point of your family is to create an action plan, a will. Documents your entire assets and assess your family, sit down with a professional and draft a will. The will can be changed as many times as possible but as a matter of importance, create one now. Properties and money are not automatically inherited, especially without instructions. The same happens to those who have bought property in their country of residence. You might think you are too young, but nobody knows tomorrow!
Involve your family in discussions regarding inheritance. Explain how and why you are distributing your property the way you are. In fact, writing your instructions out to your family is one of the best ways our forefathers wrote their wills, its effective if adhered to, or if it’s not hidden by those trusted to share it after the death of the parent. If it’s visually recorded, even better, so get a video camera, record your will so no one will say you were forced!
The dangers of such inheritance battles, especially if they go to court, they will be expensive and although you might win the case, you will lose your family forever. Many people whose wealth is fought for did not inherit it; they worked their mind out, with a productive life, to accumulate the wealth. Then, many of their children start living a waiting life. Waiting for that time the old man will pass on. Most spend the money recklessly, that within a while, all the wealth left behind will be finished and then, the poverty cycle strikes. as the person will not know how to cater for themselves.
Kenyans abroad, this is a serious issue, take time to see a lawyer. With the new constitution, your children are automatically Kenyans, so it makes it easier for them to access your wealth. If you are a `foreigner', like Mwaniki from Somalia, or Njeri from Rwanda, then make sure you have a special person to foresee your security of your children inheritance.
Do not save so hard, build so much and deny yourself life here, only to lose everything to undeserving people while your children will be left penniless by your passing on. Saying that though, educate the children to fed for themselves instead of waiting for the inheritance!