More men assign spouses as next of kin than women

More men entrust their wives to be their next of kin, which is not the same with women. Photo / Courtesy 

What you need to know:

  • Mr Sim Katende says 90 percent of married men assign their wives as next of kin compared to 30 percent for women 

At least 90 percent of married men fill their wives as next of kin compared to 30 percent for women, according to Mr Sim Katende, the Katende Sempebwa Advocates partner, head corporate and commercial department. 

While delivering a keynote speech at a resource network for family businesses organised by I&M Bank and Enjovu Family Business in Kampala, Mr Katende said the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) had carried out research in which it found that most men assign their wives to carry on the family legacy after their death, compared to women.

“Anybody who has dealt with National Social Security Fund (NSSF); carried out a survey and discovered that  90 percent of men keep their spouses as their next of kin, while less than 30 percent of women write their men as next of kin,” he said, without giving details. 

Monitor could not independently corroborate this data. NSSF declined to give details of the research. 

Mr Katende was relating to the data in comparison to challenges that face family businesses in Uganda, noting that the reluctance of business owners to properly plan for continuity has led to the collapse of many businesses. 

Family-owned businesses 

He also noted that although 80 percent of the businesses in Uganda are family-owned, most of them face challenges because owners die without a clear succession plan, noting that if a business has a proper plan, it minimises wrangles, compared to one that has none.  

“If you do the planning, you will minimise wrangles and if you don’t, there will be wrangles. Most cases in law firms are land-related with relatives and siblings fighting for land. We have those who are fighting for their grandfather’s land. Some claim land that was donated by their grandfathers 100 years later. So, if you don’t make these things clear, they will keep going,” he said.

The meeting, which also sought to address community and family business challenges through shared knowledge and solutions, noted that decision-making is key to business continuity.

Mr Robin Bairstow, the I&M Bank chief executive officer, said sustainability of family businesses remains a cornerstone of generational prosperity, noting that the bank had recognised the impact of business collapse among its customers, thus creating platforms through which knowledge on family business can be shared. 

“Through our sister company, I&M Burbidge Capital, we aim to offer solutions for ensuring sustainable family business models. You might be the founder and make the right decisions but will the next generation do that? When external influence comes in, when they get creditors, spouses, how does that affect them?” he said.

Mr Edward Burbidge, the I&M Burbidge Capital chief executive officer, said inclusive governance policies and carefully articulated succession plans are key factors in business continuity, noting that many family businesses in the region continue to grapple with leadership and succession issues.

"Engagements like these serve as forums for sharing sustainable solutions. Family entrepreneurship should have a long-term focus to facilitate decision-making and strategic reinvention for durability and stability over generations," he said. 

Mr Katende also advised that it was time for Ugandans to seek knowledge on issues like tax on property inheritance, even as he noted that it was not yet a serious consideration in Uganda. 

“I would advise Ugandans to start with a will and a trust; Ugandans don’t write wills. A will simply explains a list of assists, who you will give to, and how you would like your estate to be managed and by whom,” he said.