Estate Management

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For each of us and regardless at what stage of life, one has to plan for the safe passing down of one’sestate. One may look at it simply as inheritance or planning for an unplanned life span. It is essential that each of us have necessary documentation in place to ensure that passing on of the wealth that has been created is easily and tax efficiently transferred to our loved ones.

Inheritance Advisory

When the time comes to plan your inheritance, we advice you on all essential matters. The inheritance can be managed by three basic routes:

Making a Will

It is the Will created by you that controls your assets, events and the people after your lifetime. If you think after your lifetime your nearest relative will get all your assets in the absence of a Will, you could be wrong due to the legalities involved. If you are married and have no children, if you think that your spouse gets everything. Think again! Laws vary widely from person to person based on your religion. Your spouse may get half and your parents another half. If you have children and too many relatives and you also have inherited property, each one might get a small portion, even though you expected your spouse and children to inherit your entire wealth. Even if you don’t want to write a Will for your own peace of mind, do it for your heirs. The document will help in saving them time, legal and court expenses.

We at Verdant would provide you with advisory services for writing a Will with high confidentiality.

Tips for Making a Will

1. Make a list of Assets and Liabilities

  • Though all the movable assets need not be mentioned item-wise, it is better to give the categories viz. Deposits, Shares, Mutual Funds, etc.
  • It is better to specifically mention all immovable properties specifically
  • Also, list out the inherited property separately – state the wish as to whom you would like these to be given to. It would then be examined and worded accordingly.

2. Avoid ambiguity totally – be specific everywhere

  1. ‘Absolute bequeathal’ means the Legatee (beneficiary) can do whatever he/she wants with the property including sale.
  1. Choose the ‘Executor’ who is the most important person – it could be your Solicitor or Auditor or friend. It better be a person who is in the legal / accountant profession or one who is aware of the various legal formalities. You can name ‘X’ as executor and in case he is not alive or is unable to act as Executor ‘Y’ as a matter of contingency.

6. To maintain confidentiality, you need not give the location of assets or specify the Legatees in the draft. Once the final draft Will is made, necessary changes can be made in the same, filling in the blanks.

  • Print the same on plain paper (no requirement of stamp duty even if registered) and sign it on all pages.
  • Get 2 Witnesses to sign it. (They need not see the contents of the Will).
  • Seal it in an envelope and give it to the Bank for keeping it in safe custody.
  • Should you want it to be registered, it has to be executed at the Sub-Registrar’s office and the officers would go through the Will before registering it. Privacy to that extent would be deprived of.

7. General suggestions:

  • Make all Bank accounts/other assets/shares, mutual funds, etc. wherever possible, in Joint names or give nominations in the name of the proposed Legatees, to be in synchronization with that of the Will. This would be easier for transmission to the Legatee. Wherever there is a joint name, it can have the Daughter or any other person as the nominee.
  • Check if nomination forms have been given for the Bank lockers – if not get it done immediately.
  • List out all nominations including existing nominations, to make sure all these are as per your Will. This would include Life Insurance policies – better to include policy nos. in the Will. (at times, it may so happen that a person who has taken Life Insurance policy before marriage, would not have changed nomination after marriage. If so, make changes in Life Insurance nominations as well.)

Need for a Trust

Personal wealth requires not only sound investment advice but also a structured approach to its ownership, preservation and ultimately orderly distribution. Trust is a type of arrangement which has been used to hold and distribute private assets. Trust is a legal arrangement with a Trustee who keeps the assets legally separate and distinct from your private assets. You can keep whole or a part of the wealth in a Trust and use the same for specific purpose. That could be to make certain payments of income to certain beneficiaries periodically, providing maintenance to minor till they attain majority, assist and support physically handicapped and mentally retarded persons or other similar objectives.

We at Verdant will provide you with advisory services including planning, designing, safe & orderly formation of a Trust with high confidentiality.