SACCOs, Savings and Credit Co-operative Organizations are formed to primarily help members with saving, but they also assist their members in many ways. While they provide loans for development and emergency to members, they also act as social welfare groups in case a member is befallen by a misfortune like death. They tend to look into the present, future, and life after the death of their members.
There are no uniform policies applicable to all the SACCOs on how to deal which the death of a member, however, most of them have elaborate plans and regulations on how to deal with such occurrences. Before you become a member, most SACCOs provide you with enough information that will guide you even if you pass away. The information is captured in a Next of Kin Form.
The Next of Kin Form
The Next of Kin Form provides the details of names, contacts, and the relationship between you and your beneficiary or a nominee. The form helps in settling burial expenses and the final dues and provides adjustments where necessary.
If the SACCO member dies, the beneficiaries or nominees have to produce the following documents to the members.
1. Filled Benevolent Request Form
The benevolent request form is specific to different SACCOs, though it serves the same purpose. When members are still alive, the SACCOs require them to make certain monthly contributions which will help cater for their burial expenses and affairs of their defendants in the event they die. To access the money, the beneficiary has to fill out the form and deliver it to the SACCO to help in processing the funds.
2. Original Copy of Burial Permit
Anything is possible—people can not only fake the death of others but even their death. To avoid such fraud, the dependents are required to provide an original burial permit. The permit, together with the benevolent form helps in processing benevolent and burial funds, as required. The funds help in organizing and facilitating the funeral and burial process.
3. Copy of Death Certificate(original)
The deceased may have left some dues in the SACCO, they could be savings or other financial benefits he/she was entitled to. To process them, an original death certificate is needed. Unlike the benevolent funds which are processed immediately when a member dies, final dues are settled later burial—preferably a month after burial. The follow-up for the payments is done by a beneficiary or a nominee, as captured in the Next of Kin Form.
What Happens to the Dues In case the Dependent is a Minors?
In Kenya, a minor is any individual below the age of 18 years. There are several roles, responsibilities, and privileges that minors are prohibited from engaging in. Among them is maintaining a bank account bearing their names. So, the SACCO will have to hold the money till the minor attained the age of 18 years. Alternatively, depending on the governing laws of the land, the SACCO can opt for depositing the money with Public Trustees.
Avoiding the Legal Tussles
There is no doubt that funds and properties associated with a diseased person normally attract many legal battles. The SACCO funds are not an exemption. There are many families spending years in the corridors of justice trying to iron out the financial dues of the diseased-loved-ones trapped in SACCOs.
To save your beneficiaries from the chaos, ensure you do the necessary by providing all the required documents when you are still alive. You can also, occasionally, update and confirm your beneficiary or nominee with your SACCO. In a situation where you have more than one beneficiary or nominee, you should indicate percentage allocations against each.