ESTATE administration is a job that perhaps a few people are not prepared for, but not Namukoto Kristofina Imalwa who on a daily basis deals with estates of the deceased, managing and disbursing the assets amongst others. In an interview with Confidente recently, Namukoto displayed passion of helping those left behind by their loved ones ensuring that they get a fair share of the deceased’s estate. It is however not always a walk in the park especially when dealing with cases of families from various cultures who believe that the deceased’s assets should not be given to the deceased’s partners and children.
Give us a snapshot of who you are?
My name is Namukoto Kristofina Imalwa well known as Kiito. I completed my grade 12 in 2010 and furthered my studies in 2011 at International Training College Lingua where I obtained a Diploma in Office Administration. I did my internship with Sibeya & Partners Legal Practitioners as an office administrator while at the same time I pursued a Certificate in Administration of Estate at UNISA. In 2014 I was employed as an immigration officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration. From 2016 I started working as an estate administrator at Tipara Estate. I am currently pursuing a Diploma in Management in Accountancy at Southern Business School.
Briefly tell us about your upbringing?
I come from a hardworking family. Growing up I was exposed to my parents’ hard work which motivated me. My father is an agronomist and my mother is a lawyer. They taught me to be honest, encouraged me to always have integrity and not to shy away from challenges that may come my way. They also taught me the beauty of working independently thus self-employment is my passion.
What triggered your interest in estate administration?
When I was doing my internship at Sibeya & Partner Legal Practitioners as an office administrator, I learnt that most of the beneficiaries were children. These children needed to be assisted in order to receive what their deceased parents had left behind. Also there aren’t enough estate administrators in the country so I chose to follow the path in estate administration.
In a nutshell, what is estate administration and how does it work?
Estate administration is the collection and management of the estate of the deceased, paying any debts and taxes, and distributing property and money to the heirs of the deceased. When a person dies his/her estate is reported to the Master of the High Court. An executor will then be nominated and will be responsible for collecting all the assets left behind by the deceased.
T h e Administration of Estates works as follows;
• T h e f a m i l y reports the estate to the Master of High Court.
• T h e family needs to determine whether the deceased’s estate is Intestate, Testate or Insolvency. Intestate means that a deceased dies without leaving a will behind. Testate is when a deceased left a will behind. Insolvent is when the deceased estate is insolvent, in other words the estate is bankrupt.
•The Master of High Court normally issues two letters which are Letter of Authority and Letter of Executorship. The Letter of Authority is for estates which are below the N$100 000. This letter is then issued by the Master of High Court or at any Magistrates office.
•The Letter of Executorship is issued where the value of the estate is above N$100 000; and is issued by the Master of High Court.
What do you like and dislike about your job?
I enjoy working with people and helping them. It is quite interesting to deal with people of different cultures when it comes to the issue of administration of estates.
What are the challenges you face when it comes to dealing with culture and the absence of wills?
The major challenges in dealing with administration of an estate include that a majority of people lack the understanding of how the administration should be dealt with. It is even more difficult in certain cultures in the absence of a will because the family thinks the widow and children are not entitled to the estate.
Why it is important for people to draw up wills?
A will is very important, because when the deceased dies, his/her rights to nominate whoever they trust must be respected. The trusted person will then be able to handle assets that is left behind by the deceased. Whatever assets that the deceased had will be divided to the widow and children. It is very crucial to leave a will so that the wishes of the deceased person are fully complied with and to avoid chaos between the families.
What advice do you have for fellow women and the youth in particular?
I’d like to encourage anyone not to give up on their dreams. If you have a dream to become an independent woman or youth, by all means forge ahead. I believe that one can be successful in life if they take their education seriously. Even if you drop out of school at a tender age, don’t be discouraged to achieve something in life. Never give up in life. As Namibian youth we need to know that we should all believe in ourselves. Let us not wait for the Government to create jobs for us, let us meet them half way. Our parents have fought for us and for our independence therefore it is for us to liberate ourselves through education. Start believing in yourself to achieve what you want in life.
Just what do you do for a little fun?
I like to socialise with my friends and I enjoy travelling.
For more on Namukoto’s journey to help educate the public on the importance of the estate administration, visit her Facebook page Deceased Estates.
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