in Barbados Wednesday, at the annual Congress of Caribbean Insurance
and Financial Advisers, Walton Rogers of the Million-Dollar Round
Table focused on the tendency of people to move towards their dominant
thoughts until they become what they think.
was speaking about what people do within the realms of seven overlapping
circles that make up the whole person. These circles represent family,
education, health, career, service, spirituality and finances.
Wayne Henry, Jamaican economist, who also spoke that day, made the
point that we must have a healthy working sense of identity. Where
vision is clear, he said, sacrifice is easier.
financial matters, a sense of where you are going is critical to
getting there. And when you get what you want, you need to know
what to do with it.
is where estate planning becomes important. Estate planning is the
ability to understand how to own an asset, how to title ownership
of an asset and how to pass it on to heirs.
week, we looked at the beneficiary designation. Today, we will examine
how ownership of certain other assets, like bank accounts, can be
can have an account that is owned by one person only or two people
there are two kinds of joint accounts: where each person owns 50
per cent of the account balance or either person can own all of
the account, with the ability to draw out the entire balance.
only one person owns the account, on the death of the owner, the
account is frozen. No one can access the funds in the account.
once knew a widow who could not access money to bury her husband
because her name was not on the accountthe account was frozen.
borrowed money to pay for the funeral.
know of another widow who was called in by the bankers to immediately
pay off the mortgage and the motor vehicle loan, when they learned
her husband had died.
died without a will, and although he had substantial sums in another
bank, she had no access to the money.
know another widow who could not get the insurance on her husbands
motorcar renewed, with the same discounts, when the insurer learned
that the owner had died.
this case, the car was not the property of the wife. The insurer
did issue a renewal certificate eventually, in the name of the estate
of the deceased.
she thought she could sell the car that was sitting idle in her
garage for one year, she couldnt; it didnt belong to
the estate was settled in favour of the wife and she became the
legal owner of the car, the premium was almost three times higher,
because she was now a first-time insured without any no-claim discounts.
problems can be avoided by a simple plan, designed to transfer ownership,
in the years before retirement, the usual precursor to death.
younger couples, trust is an important element in family life. Joint
ownership requires high levels of trust and commitment. This is
what builds a family.
couples exert time, energy and money to create an estate from scratch,
because family is important; hence the planning to provide for and
preserve the family is a dominant theme, ringing true to the whole