Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited, Mrs. Binta Max-Gbinije, urges Nigerians to leave a legacy that counts by embracing a culture that ensures uncomplicated acquisition of assets and seamless distribution of such assets to cherished ones.
By Rosemary Onuoha
HOW can family members avoid the rancor that usually accompanies distribution of assets after the demise of the bread winner?
We are all familiar with the issues that often arise upon death, with members of the family pitched against one another. This is often resolved by the courts, sometimes after a prolonged litigation that would have drained everybody. This can be avoided with an estate plan which lets the individual decide how his assets are handled after passage.
Nigerians should see the beauty of leaving a lasting legacy. In the same manner that people look after themselves, a much more enduring legacy is to also look out for others, be they parents or children, father and mother, siblings, relations, the family, community and country.
The African culture is characterized by bond and affinity. Long after an individual has passed away, a memorable way of remembering him is the legacy left behind and its benefit to other members of the community, especially the family. This is what makes estate planning imperative, not just by wealthy people, but everyone else, regardless of their social and financial clout or intricate familial affairs.
What is the essence of the awareness campaign by Stanbic IBTC Trustees?
This awareness campaign is part of our duty and mission to enlighten the public on issues around having a positive legacy. This is not a brand promotion, but a concerted effort at drawing attention to the strategic role of estate planning in the seamless transfer of assets. This practice is essential for the overall orderly development of society. By having an enduring legacy, the values and ideals important to the individual would likely be maintained. When you are driven by the understanding that other peoples’ interests are as important as your own, then you will not have any qualms recognizing the importance of preserving the family’s legacy by creating a set of documents that helps in preparing for such certainties as death and taxes. The central theme of the campaign being a clear understanding that death is inevitable and should be recognized as such and planned for, while alive.
Is leaving a Will behind not enough?
Apart from writing a Will, options available to make provisions for loved ones include instituting a living Trust, and gifting of assets, all of which facilitates orderly acquisition and transfer of assets.
Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited has launched a number of products in furtherance of its mission to provide world-class trusteeship services in Nigeria. Among them is the Stanbic IBTC Educational Trust (SET), an educational trust product that assists parents and guardians to provide sound education for their children and wards. The product offers numerous long-term benefits which assure beneficiaries of a brighter future via education and training.