Story: Peace AWUKU
Estate and gift planning awareness month has been introduced by the University of Ghana Business School to help educate and conscientize the public on the tax implications and how to plan for one’s successor.
This forms part of the school’s financial literacy awareness creation this month.
Gifts generally received during business and investment transactions according to Ghana’s tax laws are taxable.
Transferring of assets to an individual as a gift under the estate and gift planning also has tax implications to both the giver and the receiver.
Speaking at the launch of the Estate and Gift Planning awareness month in Accra, a lecturer at the University of Ghana School of law, William Dementia said one should seek professional and tax advice when embarking on estate and gift planning to avoid huge tax exposure.
“You must get good professional advice. If you want to do a Will, you have to conform to the dictates of the Wills Act. You must have the capacity that you are 18 years and above and of sound mind and you must dispose of assets in a manner and it must be witnessed”, Mr. Demitia explained.
Mr. Demitia expressed optimism that the awareness campaign would provide individuals with the needed information on how to put up a well-deserved and managed Estate and Gift plan through a one stop company.
Mr. Demitia said people plan how their assets should be distributed because death was inevitable. He also mentioned that one of the common forms of estate planning was the use of Trust.
A Solicitor and Pro-bono lawyer with WILDAF Ghana, Anita Danquah urged Ghanaians to start drafting their Will or have a plan to prevent leaving chaos behind when they die.
Mrs. Danquah said “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Women and their children are the most vulnerable people when it comes to asset distribution, because, when a husband dies without leaving a legal will, his wife and children may face challenges from the family of the deceased for their inheritance”.
Lead for improving financial awareness for Financial Literacy Movement, Peter Nyarko called on all stakeholders to make the Estate and gift plan awareness month a success to help build a robust financial foundation.
”I am calling on all stakeholders the media, the government, Institutions, and Corporate organisations to support Estate and Gift Planning awareness month. This is a very important campaign venue, we want people to get their Wills together, get their legacy plans together so that once they vacate this earth, they have someone who can take charge of their property. We encourage everyone to come on board to get our estate planning in place, let’s get our gift planning in place and let’s build a strong financial foundation”, Mr. Nyarko said.
The Dean of the University of Ghana Law School, Professor Raymond Atuguba also mentioned that Estate and Gift Planning is a strategy to protect families and children, and therefore, it must be taken seriously by everybody.
The University of Ghana would soon offer Financial Literacy as a course in the next academic year. The University has dedicated the month of October to financial literacy, to help educate citizens on the need to plan their financial lives for a better future.