3 Effective Ways to Avoid Inheritance Conflicts

These issues come up mostly while talking with those who have gone through conflicts in their families during property division process in any of their estate settlements. In most of the cases there are references to the input from one of the members of family “once removed”, and not necessarily the ones who are the so called immediate heirs. These other people who are usually spouses or grandchildren don’t always have the similar emotional connection when compared to the ones who are immediate heirs. In most of the cases this may be unintentionally done. But, when children or spouses have things they want and they make demands, they often end up creating situations that finally result into conflicts.

Here are 3 ways that can help in avoiding such conflicts.

Understanding the Personality of other Heirs: It is very important that you try and understand what kind of people the other heirs who are also involved in the settlement issue are. Analyse their basic traits and find out the way to communicate with these heirs. This approach often resolves most complications even before they arise and clears off lot of misunderstandings. Personality difference is often the main cause behind a conflict concerning settlements. It will become more and more difficult to avoid conflict or maintain peace without understanding the differences.

Keep the Home Untouched before Formal Division: It is very important that you don’t claim your right on something that logically belongs to other heirs. It can also mess with their emotional sentiments and can further complicate the case for you. This is why it is important that the house remains untouched or undisturbed till a legal division is announced. An in-depth scrutiny of the property is important before there is any legal division and you can contribute to the process by not disturbing anything. Without the consent of other beneficiaries or heirs if you remove items from an estate or a home it is very much possible that the issue will get complicated. Very often we see people making this mistake of just going into a property and picking what they want without any consent with the concerned people and such actions are often justified by them through some facts or instances of the past. That being said, legally it will only complicate the case.

Only Beneficiaries or Immediate Heirs should be Part of the Property Division: Property division is a sensitive case and hence it should not be made a mass trial. Only immediate heirs or beneficiaries should become part of the process and other outside influences like children of heirs, grandchildren, in-laws, spouses etc should be kept away from the process. This is particularly more important at the beginning of the division process.

Job Costing and Estimating

Small business owners are an underserved group. Tax planning and tax preparation should not be the only skills offered by the business’ advisors. And to small business owners, don’t be so stubborn. Read carefully to understand this discussion. This just might save your life long dream from collapsing.

Construction, roofing, and custom manufacturing are all business types that will benefit from a discussion of direct and indirect expenses. Most already know that direct expenses for a given job or project have to be considered in the cost. Direct expenses include the labor and materials used. It is the indirect expense that is most often forgotten or mistakenly allocated to job cost. The indirect expense is a cost that relates to all jobs or projects and not to one job specifically.

Examples of indirect expenses include: depreciation on machinery and equipment in the production process, depreciation on plant facilities if owned by the small business, rent on the plant facilities, shop supplies, vehicle expenses, utilities, insurance, and the compensation of supervisors, plant managers, and owners of the business. And of course, don’t forget about payroll taxes. There could be other indirect expenses in a given business, but the aforementioned will serve to demonstrate my point. It is also important to mention here the compensation of the business owner or owners. If the owner participates in the production process, a portion of compensation (or all) should be treated as an indirect expense to be allocated to the job cost.

Now that there is a list of indirect expenses, how should they get allocated to the job cost? Typically, indirect expenses are allocated based on direct labor dollars, direct labor hours, or direct materials. My personal favorite method of allocation is based on direct labor hours. If there are 20 direct laborers in a given business, and each is projected to work 1,900 hours annually, there will be 38,000 hours of total direct labor in a given year. If the summation of indirect costs is $1,500,000, this business will have an indirect cost per direct labor hour of $39.47. If my average hourly wage for direct laborers is $25.00, then total cost per direct labor hour is $64.47. If this particular business desires an industry average gross margin of say, 36%, it will need to charge $100.73 per labor hour. This billing rate is determined by using the full absorption method of accounting. Full absorption accounting is a required “generally accepted accounting principle” and must be used in all external financial statements unless otherwise disclosed.

Creativity Can Create an Income – Crafting From Home

Often times creative people need an outlet for their goods. Thinking of starting an online shop on your own might seem overwhelming. If you break down everything into baby steps, opening your own store is actually not as difficult as you might think.

If you are like many creative people, your brain is always full of ideas. In order to create a business, you need to hone in on your niche. What do you love to create? Is it an item that would sell? Can you make enough money justifying the time involved in creating this item? These are all questions you will need to invest time and thought on answering. Do your research and investigate sources such as Etsy to see how saturated that market is, how well the items are selling, and if the going price works for you.

Once you have determined your product line, it is time to create your brand. Play around with names, logos and colors. You want your brand to represent you as well as a brand that is easily recognizable.

The next step, one of the most fun steps, is very important. Search for tips online. Practice, practice, practice. Try different angles, locations, and lighting, until you have a beautiful photo.

Decide if you want to sell on a multi seller platform such as Etsy, or a stand alone site. As a beginner, someplace like Etsy is a great place to start selling your craft. If you choose to go with Etsy, dig in and start a shop. Within a few hours, you can have your shop up and running. Should you choose to start a stand alone store, you will need to research the best options for your shop.

Once you have your products listed for sale, your job will be to drive traffic to the site. This is where the dedication comes in play. In order for your shop to succeed, you will have to put in the time getting your product seen. Facebook, blogs, Instagram and Twitter are all great outlets. If you set aside a certain amount of time daily to promote your goods, you will soon see the rewards. While working from home, distractions can happen easily. Your focus and diligence will be the determining factor in whether or not your products begin to sell. So, if you are still interested in opening a shop of your own, what are you waiting for? Go forth and sell!

Investment Financing in Kenya Real Estate

Real-estate investments in Kenya have the potential to double and even triple in value per year-with the right property. So, how does an investor finance a property investment? There are at-least two main options available in Kenya: group investments and mortgages.

Other than being able to prevaricate against risks such as rising inflation, real-estate investors are able to enhance their net worth, generate high capital gains and potentially register quick rates of appreciation.

Property Investment Financing Options

1.Group Investments

This is the most efficient and commonly used financing option by lower-middle class and those in informal employment who cannot qualify for bank mortgages and loans owing to their irregular source of income.

Group investments, locally referred to as ‘Chamas’, hold more than Ksh80 billion of wealth in Kenya in terms of savings and investment, with one adult in every three being an active member of a group investment club. They have registered the greatest success among women, youths and self-employed people.

To function, members make daily, weekly or monthly contributions for a specified duration of time and with a specific financial target. Once targets are reached, they identify a potential property, buy it and either start saving towards developing it or splitting it into equal portions among group members.

Alternatively, banks develop investment groups and invite interested parties to make monthly contributions. If the group member wishes to buy a property, they simply borrow (with interest rates applying) from the group based on their contribution. Group members co-sign the loans and they bear the cost of repaying the loan if one of the group members defaults.

The success of group investment is powerfully driven by a cultural impetus to pool funds together to invest and to borrow.

Most banking institutions and building societies in Kenya have realized the potential the option has and have developed programs targeted to boost group investments – it is based on the idea of creating a savings and investment opportunities.

2.Property Loans & Mortgages

There is a thin line between loans and mortgages in Kenya, and people often use the two terms synonymously.

These are facilities offered by various financial and lending institutions, such as banks and building societies, to help you buy property:

Loans and mortgages are given to successful loan applicants who meet the minimum loan-qualification requirements.
Loans and mortgages can be fully or partly financed by you. The majority of lenders, however, finance the property up to 90%.
Various lenders have varying interest rates and income-generating loans being charged a 15% interest rate per year and estate development attracting 13% p.a.
Property for owner-occupation may receive 80% financing while for investment property, such as rental units or holiday homes, may receive up to 70% financing.

Repayment duration for loans and mortgages

Maximum of:

15 years for individual borrowers
10 years for limited companies
2 years per phase for real-estate development

Additional Costs

Most loan and mortgage applicants in Kenya are oblivious to the hidden charges that come with taking loans and mortgages.

Stamp duty

Currently at 4% of the cost of property.

Valuation fees

Fees vary depending on the valuation surveyor, and it is crucial you have your own prior to the property being valued.

Legal charges

Determined by mortgage amount. Higher loan amounts attract higher legal fees. Banks have their preferred law firms they deal with, so ensure you learn from the lender their preferred law firm.

Bank facility charges

Varies between banks and is meant to cover loan facilitation


Charges for clearing the mortgage before the agreed time; varies between

Property insurance

It is not mandatory and it is paid per year. It protects the property during loan repayment period.

Mortgage life policy

Varies between lenders and covers your outstanding balance in case you die.

Soundasleep Dream Series Air Mattress Review

Without a doubt, the best air mattress I have ever owned! The Soundasleep Dream Series Air Mattress is everything I’ve been searching years for, with no luck. I have a large family, with tons of kids, and sometimes not enough spare bedrooms for everyone. Over the past 12 years, I we have gone through at least 8 air mattresses, due to casualties of all different kinds. Some leak immediately, some leak after a while. Some are so difficult to pump up that you consider not deflating them at all. Then there was the honey incident. Enough said. Of course, our trusty dog Sierra saved us from attack by airbed and bit into it as soon as it inflated. Then there was the airbed that my baby (OK, 1,351bs of fur baby). Blaze decided to use as his bed. To be fair, I think it was more effected by his nails than his weight. Anyway. I have spent countless hours searching for something that would hold up. During a recent move, we were without furniture for several days and I purchased two of these air mattresses for the transition period. After my past experiences, you can say my expectations weren’t too high. I actually bought two, hoping that in case one didn’t make it through that weekend, we would have a spare to use. That was over a year ago, and I couldn’t be happier with this product.

The Soundasleep Dream Series Air is a true Queen size when inflated, with dimensions: 58″ x 78″ x 19″ deep. This is a nice, thick size for an air mattress, and any most queen sized sheets today are made with a depth up to 21″. That is the measurement you want to look for when buying sheets for this, or any other thick mattress. Deep pocket, or extra deep pocket will provide ample room for this substantial mattress.

Pros and Cons of the Soundasleep Dream Series Air Mattress


• 40 coils provide for flat, firm support
• Inflates easily in under 4 minutes
• Waterproof top layer
• 1 click internal pump for inflation/deflation
• Sure grip bottom
• Puncture resistant
• 1 year warranty


• Not for use as a permanent bed
• Not suitable for infants
• Large bulky size when inflated
• Slight plastic smell that fades

As with everything I buy, I first read the reviews on Amazon to get the real story about the Soundasleep Dream Series Air Mattress. This is, truth be told, why I ended up purchasing this specific item. People called it sturdy, comfortable, stable, and often compared it to sleeping in a real bed! Of course, this I didn’t believe. Maybe I just thought that I’m a real mattress snob, and other people may not be so picky. Nonetheless, these were the best reviews I’ve read, so I went for it. After all, it may not be as nice as my big comfy bed, but it’s sure to beat the floor.

I ordered two beds, and was pleased at their quick delivery. Although upon opening them, I noticed a slight plastic odor, it was expected, and faded in the few days before our big move. So fast forward a few days, and my real furniture is gone, and now it’s time to really find out how good the Soundasleep Dream Series Air Mattress is. I had a brief moment of panic upon realizing that I had not blown up either mattress to check for malfunctions. Thank goodness, this company makes a quality product.

That night, I slept like a baby on my new Soundasleep Dream Series Air Mattress, and woke up seriously surprised. No, seriously, I was on a new bed and in a new house, but neither disturbed my sleep. I personally only slept on this mattress for two more nights before getting our furniture set up, but have continued using it for family and guests without incident.