SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES & WILLS

The Supreme Court in the case of Kavita Kanwar v. Mrs. Pamela Mehta (“Kavita Kanwar case”), has extensively discussed certain key factors that may render a will surrounded by suspicious circumstances as invalid.

While drafting, a will may bring up feelings of discomfort, it is one of the key elements of estate planning and ensures that the testator’s wishes for distribution of his or her assets is met. Additionally, it brings about a sense of security in the testator in relation to their assets, and when considered, the advantages of drafting a will, outweigh the temporary discomfort caused by the process.
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Wife can manage late husband’s HUF if all coparceners are minors
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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 22nd July, 2020 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

My late husband had mutual fund investments under Hindu Undivided Family (HUF). I have a son and daughter, who are minors. While some mutual funds have agreed that I can be the karta and are willing to let me liquidate investments, but two are saying I can’t be a karta. Can you explain?

—Swati Kesarkar


Continue Reading Wife can manage late husband’s HUF if all coparceners are minors

‘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

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

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

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.


Continue Reading Estate & Succession Planning during the Coronavirus Pandemic

TESTAMENTARY TRUSTS or Will Trusts – OVERVIEW AND INSIGHTS

Trusts are recognised internationally as favoured vehicles for estate and succession planning. Although most private asset-holding trusts are created during the lifetime of the creator (settlor), there is another category of trusts called testamentary trusts. As the term suggests, testamentary trusts (also known as ‘Will-trusts’ in certain jurisdictions) are formed through testamentary instruments such as a Will, and which take effect only upon the death of the creator. This post seeks to provide an overview of the Indian law on testamentary trusts, and offer insights into their creation, function and utility.
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