Kesho, Kiswahili word for tomorrow, is a common refrain for putting off what can be done today for a later date. Kenyans are in no rush to plan for their twilight years. It is estimated that about 95% of Kenyans do not have a will.

“Recent reports show that a lion’s share of unclaimed assets in Kenya are associated with people who have d**d without a will or without sharing their financial status with their families,” says Mr Peter Wairegi shortly after launching his book, Wealth Preservation: The 7-Key Steps of Effective Will and Estate Planning Strategy.

“The predominant reason why Kenyans do not worry about post-life planning is because they are stressed and preoccupied with today,” said Mr Wairegi. The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority estimates that Ksh3.6 billion is lying idle in unclaimed financial assets.

A dipstick survey conducted by Bleep Africa, a marketing and research firm, shows that the twin reasons why Kenyan do not write wills are cultural taboos associated with d***h and the burden of existential financial challenges.

While Kenyans lack a sense urgency on wills and estate planning, title deeds, birth certificates, and car logs rank high in priority. Some are cognizant that in the absence of a will, the government decides a children’s legal guardian if both parents d*e. “Everyone eventually has a will. You can choose to write one or the courts will write one for you upon your demise,” noted Mr Wairegi.

Mr Wairegi said the new book outlines the benefits of having  of estate planning such as tax benefits, right to life choices in regard to medical directives, burial arrangements and ensuring one’s estate survives. “Few people plan to d*e in the near future but if you d*e suddenly without a will, you will be subjecting your family to a confusing and anxious experience over what is already a very difficult situation.”

Even those with children have no wills and they assume that their wives and children will automatically inherit their property. “The landmark case where High Court disinherited widows of Mbiyu Koinange after a 35-year dispute over the Sh17.4 billion estate should nudge Kenyans to think critically about estate planning,” said Lee Karuri, the Resorts & Cities Chairman.

Largely, unclaimed assets are under-reported by holding companies. A survey by the Unclaimed Property Asset Register established that insurance companies and banks are the predominant holders of idle funds, estimated at a staggering Ksh200 billion.  “A lot people are poor when they are alive only to be declared rich upon their d***h,” said Hon. Gerald Gakuha, the Deputy Governor of Kiambu County.

The Chairman of Resorts & Cities said it was unfortunate that people toil in their lifetime only to disinherit their kith and kin due lack of transparency and the “irrational fear that writing a will signals that one is ready to go.”

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