Personal Finance

Securing assets from gold diggers

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Summary

  • Kenya’s legislative framework is adequate to protect vulnerable targets from gold diggers.
  • If you are dating someone you suspect to be a gold digger, the most logical thing is to end the relationship.
  • The law allows for property pre-nuptial agreements in the event you want to secure your assets from gold diggers.

Gold digger: “One who pursues and forms relationships with someone else for the sole purpose of using that person’s money or wealth.”

Gold diggers exist everywhere and they specifically target rich people for romantic relationships. Before most gold diggers were women, but today there is an increasing rise of “male gold diggers”. Whether a gold digger is male or female, their aim of entering into a relationship is to acquire material benefit from their targets in the form of gifts and other considerations.

Kenya’s legislative framework is adequate to protect vulnerable targets from gold diggers. I will give you a few tips on how you can protect your assets from gold diggers.

If you are dating someone you suspect to be a gold digger, the most logical thing is to end the relationship. Once trust is lost then it becomes difficult to pursue the relationship. However, should you be convinced to pursue the relationship then I would advise caution in how you interact with the person in so far as wealth is concerned. I would recommend that you do avoid transferring assets into the other party’s name.

I would advise the use of “licences.” You can issue the other person with a document known as a licence to use assets such as cars or to live on and access your property as long as the relationship lasts. The use of a licence is attractive as it does not give any property rights to the licensee but only gives access rights.

In the event you feel the need to transfer the assets into your lover’s name then I would advise you do a conditional transfer if your lover is a suspected gold digger. Many times gold diggers end the relationship once they get an asset registered in their own name. To have a conditional transfer in place, have an agreement that includes clauses to the effect that the transfer will revert back to you in the event the relationship ends.

Let the other party sign blank transfer forms that will revert ownership back to you once the relationship ends. Conditional transfers are attractive for moveable assets only; it would be a very costly step for assets like land due to tax issues.

The law allows for property pre-nuptial agreements in the event you want to secure your assets from gold diggers. A property pre-nup is an agreement you would enter into with your lover establishing property rights over assets acquired before marriage. Property pre-nups are attractive in protecting family wealth and inheritance from gold diggers. Though not commonly used in Kenya, the law recognises property pre-nups.

There are family estate planning tools available to you if you still want to guard your assets against a suspected gold-digging spouse. The tools to use include the formation of trust companies and using wills to guard your assets. Under the option of a trusted company, it would be the company and not you who would own the asset. The spouse however still has a claim to your share in the company unless covered by a property pre-nup.

An amendment to the existing succession laws, The Succession Amendment Act (2021) will make it difficult for secret lovers and other third parties from laying a claim to a deceased’s estate. The law limits the heirs to spouses and children. Former spouses do not have a claim to the estate unless they can show they were being supported.

Prevention is better than cure. Choose your relationships wisely.