Estate Planning in the BVI

Estate Planning in the BVI

Benjamin Franklin was credited for the saying “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. I had the opportunity to attend an estate planning event hosted by Money Matters BVI on August 19 th, 2022. It was a well attended and informative forum type event that allowed me to reflect on the challenges and opportunities that are faced here in the BVI regarding estate planning and Real Estate

Another Benjamin Franklin quote says “By Failing to plan, you are planning to fail”. This saying quite accurately describes a large portion of real estate here in the BVI. The common misconception s amongst a large amount of land owners are “everything will work itself out” or “ There is no need to tempt faith” when it comes to discussing the need for a will, a part of estate planning

Before I continue, here are a few definitions. Estate planning is a holistic approach on how your assets will be managed and owned after death or incapacitation. A will is written instructions on how
you would like your affairs handled after your eventual death.

The main challenge with regard to Estate Planning is the lack of family unity and the lack of understanding that wealth can remain within the family. There is a famous quote that states “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in 3 generations”. This quote has a few interpretations, one of the interpretations is that the wealth is created in the 1st
generation, is spent within the next generation and generally the 3rd generation does not see the wealth without planning

Families fail to have an open discussion/dialogue between generations. This conversation should include the dissemination of cash and property. It should include the 1st generations ideas for the future for each property that you own

These discussions are generally the hardest because everyone has a thought on the process.
But it is important to give that all generations have a chance to say their part. The issues here in the BVI is that most families do not have this discussion and no one actually knows how much or where any of the property is located, where the accounts are and who should be handling the affairs. After 2 or 3 generations, property ownership and dissemination becomes contentious, therefore dimensioning any wealth that could be transferred

The other side of the coin is that there are a few families that meticulously have these discussion with their family members. Each member of the family knowing their part to play in succession and understanding how to pass along property and ensuring the wealth stays within the family. These families tend to try their best to ensure the
family dynamics and the wealth is continued for generations to come

In conclusion, we highly encourage property owners in the BVI to begin family meetings with regards to estate planning, no matter how small the family estate maybe. Seek council from attorneys here in the BVI that know about estate
planning to begin the process, we truly encourage you to not delay this important part in
your life

If the planning comes down to selling property to fund other projects, Give us a call 1 (284) 343-6986 or email Emerald Properties BVI has reliable and well
informed real estate agents that will assist you as
your plan your estate

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