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Learning From Experience: Rimba’s Story

Rimba was closing in on 80 years of age, and still had vivid memories of her great aunt Banou. Nearly 50 years had passed since she’d seen her favourite relative, but she never forgot her, the stories of her ‘boujee bijou’ or the shenanigans that ensued after her aunt’s passing.

Banou left all her worldly possessions equally to her nine surviving great nieces but hadn’t earmarked a single thing for any of them. Great antics and high jinx ensued to determine who would be the next owner of this or that, but the one heirloom coveted by all was the gem (affectionately called ‘boujee bijou’) that Banou had discovered as a young woman of 23 on one of the island beaches. The gem was deep green, very grand, crystal clear, and worth absolutely nothing. But the truth of it never slowed island rumours about its priceless worth. So, while Banou lived a quiet meagre life, she revelled in the royal treatment lavished on her by all the islanders when she was out and about, great thanks to her ‘boujee bijou’.

Rimba often lost track of which of her cousins was in possession of the gem at any given time during the ensuing decades, but they gathered every now and then to gleefully reminisce over the ‘boujee bijou’ monkey business, what with all the plotting and scheming and pinching it from one another over the years. It was all in good fun. But still, every time that it was mentioned among them, other stories were recalled about families who weren’t so lucky— how the succession of even the least valuable but sentimental possessions had caused disappointment, family feuds and in some cases, had even led to a few serious legal actions.

As Banou’s last surviving great niece, Rimba said she wanted to distribute her possessions with dignity. So, she took inventory of her assets and specifically bequeathed those of financial value to her son in her will. And, since she too was a favourite aunt to her seven nieces and nephews, she knew that a special memento from Aunt Rimba might mean the world to them. After a visit from her son to see which possessions of sentimental value he might like, she had tea with each of her nieces and nephews and taped their names under their favourite items, including all seven under Banou’s boujee bijou!

Consider this…

Plan ahead for the distribution of your financial and sentimental valuables to avoid unintended consequences and to make any necessary arrangement for equalizing your estate.

To learn more about the distribution of your valuables, watch our short videos: INFOclip: Protecting Your Estate, SMART talk …about digital assets, and SMART talk…about will planning and drafting, and read our article entitled: Sharing your Wealth with the Next Generation.