Stanbic IBTC Trustees Campaigns on Assets Transfer through Estate Planning

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Ebere Nwoji

Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited, a member of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, is championing the course of educating Nigerians on the imperative of transferring assets through estate planning not only by wealthy people, but everyone else, regardless of social and financial status.

The company, is pursuing this course through awareness and education campaign tagged, ‘Stanbic IBTC Legacee’, through which it urges Nigerians to leave a legacy that counts by embracing a culture that ensures the uncomplicated acquisition of assets and seamless distribution of such assets to cherished ones.

Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited, Binta Max-Gbinije, speaking during the campaign in Lagos, stated that estate planning has become much more important in Nigeria because of issues that emerge when parents or relations die leaving loved ones behind to struggle for their assets.

She said this is not to be because 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.

“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,” Max-Gbinije stated.

She said by having an enduring legacy, the values and ideals important to the individual would likely be maintained.

According to her, when you are driven by the understanding that other peoples’ interests are as important as your own, then you will not have any qualms recognising 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.

Referencing the African culture as one characterised by bond and affinity, Max-Gbinije said 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.

She said this has made estate planning imperative, not just by wealthy people, but everyone else, regardless of their social and financial clout or intricate familial affairs.

To ensure the message reaches every Nigerian, the campaign, she said, will run on radio, television, press, and outdoor, its central theme being a clear understanding that death is inevitable and should be recognised as such and planned for, while alive.

“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,”Max-Gbinije stressed.

She said her company, understands the art and importance of legacy, and coming from Stanbic IBTC, which has a stated goal of serving the individual through the various life stages, the campaign will leverage on the 153 year-old pedigree of the Standard Bank Group, to which Stanbic IBTC belongs, to deliver a win-win outcome for all stakeholders.

Apart from writing a Will, she identified options available to make provisions for loved ones to include instituting a Living Trust, and gifting of assets, all of which facilitates orderly acquisition and transfer of assets.