Suva-based lawyer and RC Suva North member, Ms Prem Lata Narayan joined RCSE on Monday Jan 20th to discuss a rather grim topic- but one which we all must face, namely: end of life planning. According to Ms Narayan, many people in Fiji do not write wills or stop to consider how their debts, mortgages, and assets would be managed or allocated in the event of their untimely death.
Just as we prepare for the arrival of a child, attending school, marriage or any phase of life, we must prepare for death. ‘To write a will we need to get our lives in order,’ said Ms Narayan.
Suva East members had lots of questions for Ms Narayan about what to do with assets in multiple countries and other common legal technicalities. As she noted, in our secretive culture, many people do not tell their families about the locations of wills or if they’ve even written one. When wills arise years after a person’s death, this can create sticky situations, as a persons assets may already have been distributed against his wishes.
Therefore, the most important issue, Ms Narayan advised us, was to ensure that all wills- foreign and local- were legally registered here in Fiji to ensure their validity, and to ensure the will is on record with the appropriate authorities. It is important to note that there is a $5000 fine for failure to register a will.
Suva East is very grateful to Ms Narayan for openly discussing these issues and providing sound advice to all our members. Let’s get our lives in order!