The Estate and Succession Planning Consideration That (Almost) No One Discusses

Introduction

The complex nature of estate and succession planning requires careful assessment of myriad considerations, such as the nature of estate (composition and location), family type (nuclear, joint or hybrid), and potential cost outlay (taxation and stamp duty) in order to achieve the objectives in an efficient manner.

However, while determining the costs associated with planning, an oft-overlooked factor is the court fees that may be payable when the components of the succession plan are set into motion post demise. If not evaluated when devising the estate plan, court fees might come as a rude shock to heirs seeking to implement the succession plan of a deceased family member.
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Wills In The Time Of Corona - Challenges And Solutions

In these uncertain times of a global pandemic, there is increased interest in succession planning, including through Wills, and understandably so. Yet, there are considerable practical and legal challenges involved in making a Will during social distancing, isolation or quarantine. In this blog post, we discuss these challenges in the Indian context and suggest potential solutions. While it may not be possible to find foolproof solutions, and unfortunately technology is not yet an ally, there are some measures that may help to overcome prevalent complications in creation of Wills.
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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.


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 Pets as beneficaries in trust or will
Image Source: iStock | Livemint.com

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 1 and the online edition of the same can be found at: https://www.livemint.com/money/personal-finance/you-can-t-name-your-pets-as-beneficiaries-of-a-trust-or-will-11582011911565.html

I am 61 years old and widowed. I have two dogs and a cat. Can I create a trust in their names to ensure that they are taken care of after my demise? What other options can I explore while planning my estate? Also, what will happen to the trust or any such entity after my pets die?

—Name withheld on request


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