Photo of Rishabh Shroff

Co-Head and Partner in the Private Client Practice at the Mumbai office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Rishabh specialises in family constitutions and settlements, trusts, wills and succession planning. He can be reached at rishabh.shroff@cyrilshroff.com

‘In terrorem clause’ is used to reduce chances of challenge to a Will
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The Private Client team at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas shares their comments and opinions shared in an article in the  following Q&A which was published by the Mint Newspaper on 7th July, 2020 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

I live in the US. I have made a Trust deed before a notary in Texas, with my children as beneficiaries. The deed has a foregoing clause, which says claims filed by my heirs challenging the conveyance of my assets to my children will result in the forfeiting of the rights of the claimants if they fail to prove that the conveyance transactions were effected on the legal grounds of fraud, coercion etc. Is the foregoing clause valid in India?

—KB


Continue Reading ‘In terrorem clause’ is used to reduce chances of challenge to a Will

In India, the law and practice in relation to property and inheritance have traditionally been more patriarchal. Unfortunately, married daughters were quite often not regarded as the heir apparent to a family’s estate and business; and sons continue to be the ‘chosen ones’. Many business families remain reluctant to pass their business wealth and assets onto their married daughters due to the perceived risk that the property ends up being controlled by the in-laws of the daughters. This becomes even more pronounced for ‘promoter’ families with significant holdings in public listed companies. How can such Promoters pass on their business wealth to their daughters, and can they do so without losing control over the company?


Continue Reading SEBI clarifies status of married daughters becoming promoters in listed companies

The Private Client team at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas shares their comments and opinions shared in an article in the  following Q&A which was published by the Mint Newspaper on 26th May, 2020 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

My parents have a flat in a housing society in Gurugram and it’s in their joint names. My father is no more and according to his Will (not registered or probated but notarized and on stamp paper with two witnesses), all his property and wealth went to my mother. Now, she has a Will, dividing all her fixed and movable wealth among her three children. If we need to sell the property after our mother dies, what are the steps we should take for smooth sale? The conveyance deed is original, with the names of both my parents. Since we do not live in Gurugram, we want to avoid running around to different departments. Can you give us the right procedure? Is there any agency that can help us in Gurugram? Will there be any tax liability at the point of sale? Who will need to bear it?

—Anshi Dorairaj


Continue Reading Without a Will, all Class 1 heirs inherit equal share in a property

Eldest Female Coparcener HUF
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The Private Client team at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas shares their comments and opinions shared in an article in the  following Q&A which was published by the Mint Newspaper on 12th May, 2020 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

My father recently passed away. We had an Hindu Undivided Family (HUF). It comprises of my mother, my two brothers and one elder sister. My father was the karta. Can we make our mother or unmarried elder sister the karta? What will happen when the sister gets married?

—Raman Verma
Continue Reading Eldest female coparcener can be karta of a Hindu Undivided Family

I’m leaving on a Jet Plane (or maybe not!) CBDT clarifies tax residency for people trapped in India

John Denver famously sang these lyrics in his famous love ballad, “Leaving on a Jet Plane”:

“’Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane

Don’t know when I’ll be back again

Oh babe, I hate to go”

When John sang these iconic words in 1966, when flying was quite the luxury, he could not even have dreamed how aptly they can be applied to the terrifying ‘Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2’ (“COVID-19”) virus. With India going into a harsh and strictly enforced total lockdown from March end till May 17, 2020 (likely to be substantially extended), all airports have been shut and flights grounded. No one is going anywhere, whether they like it or not. No emotional love ballads will be sung, no jet planes will fly off into the sunset. A few repatriation flights have started to bring Indians stuck overseas back to India as part of the world’s largest peacetime repatriation effort, and allow some foreigners to leave India for their home countries – but as of now it is still a trickle.
Continue Reading I’m leaving on a Jet Plane (or maybe not!): CBDT clarifies tax residency for people trapped in India

Online Wills India
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The Private Client team at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas shares their comments and opinions shared in an article in the  following Q&A which was published by the Mint Newspaper on 28th April, 2020 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

What is the validity of online Will services? Are they enforceable in law? Also, if I am using such services, what are the things I should keep in mind?

—Kumar
Continue Reading Online Wills are not equipped to handle estates with any complexity

Codicil Change or Alter a Will
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The Private Client team at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas shares their comments and opinions shared in an article in the  following Q&A which was published by the Mint Newspaper on 14th April and the online edition of the same can be found here.

I am 54. I want to add some more things to my existing Will. Will I need to make a new one or can an existing Will be altered? If an existing Will can be altered, what is the procedure?

—Nirav


Continue Reading You can add or delete parts of your Will through a codicil

 India’s Finance Act 2020, COVID–19 & HNIs - An Update

The Finance Bill, 2020 (“Bill”) was presented as the Union Budget on February 1, 2020 (“Budget”) and then introduced in the Lower House of Parliament (Lok Sabha) – it was finally passed on March 23, 2020 with certain key amendments (“Amendment”). Interestingly, this was passed without any discussions in Parliament and received the presidential assent on March 27. Accordingly, the same will come into effect from April 1, 2020 (“Finance Act”).

The Finance Act needs to be seen in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic being played out in India. As India undergoes a 21-day lockdown, post passing of the Amendment, the government is undertaking pro-active measures by way of press conferences to address the pressing needs of the society. To begin with, the government announced an extension of various statutory compliances for taxpayers (discussed below). Next, the Finance Minister (“FM”) announced a COVID-19 relief package for the poor, which primarily covers food security and direct cash transfers to them. Lastly, on March 27, Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) Governor, Shaktikanta Das slashed the key lending rate by 75 basis points in an emergency move, to counter the economic fallout of the said lockdown. The RBI also permitted all commercial banks and lending institutions to allow a 3-month moratorium on loans. “Banks should do all they can to keep credit flowing,” Mr Das said.
Continue Reading India’s Finance Act 2020, COVID–19 & HNIs: An Update

Covid -19 and succession planning

 Lawyers are generally very conservative – so it may sound a bit alarmist to hear us say “the world is ending!” At the time of writing, India is coming to grips with the terrifying ‘Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (“COVID-19”)’ virus. There is something primal and scary about an airborne threat that can kill you – from something as simple as coming close to an infected person, or touching a door handle, etc. It makes us think about the fragility of life, and the need to protect our loved ones. Some people may believe the steps being taken at present are an overreaction – but are they?

As per the WHO, COVID-19 appears to target the elderly and individuals having underlying illnesses. The WHO mission to China found that 78% of the cases reported as of February 20, 2020 were in individuals between ages 30 and 69. In a matter of barely three months, COVID-19 has infected over 185,000 individuals, resulting in nearly 7,200 deaths, covering 157 countries and territories around the world. The Diamond Princess cruise ship harbored in Yokohama, Japan— was among the lone case involving an international vessel. In India, at the time of writing, 110+ individuals tested positive for the virus, with three fatalities. The virus knows no boundaries, gender or net worth, targeting poor and rich alike. Pandemics are an equalizer in society.


Continue Reading Estate & Succession Planning during the Coronavirus Pandemic