Blog Image_Why Family Offices need to think beyond money

The Rockefellers are quite possibly the most well-known industrialist family in modern history, whose family name is synonymous with staggering wealth and power. Starting in 1882, the Rockefellers set up an office of trained professionals to handle their wealth. Although never formally called a “family office”, this idea was the seed that gave rise to the concept in modern times as several wealthy families began to follow suit.
Continue Reading Why Family Offices need to think beyond money: The importance of Family Governance – Part 1

A testator doesn’t have to submit her will to sub-registrar’s office

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 20th October, 2020 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

My mother in 1987 had made a will which was not registered and was in favour of my elder sister, who is not married. My lawyer says that the unregistered will made in 1987 is valid. Please confirm this. Also, my elder sister, who is now 78, wants to make a will in my favour. My lawyer says that the will has to be registered, as currently unregistered wills are not valid. My lawyer states that my sister has to visit the registry office, and it will not be possible for the official to come home to get the signature. Please advise.

—Name withheld on request

We assume that your sister is a Hindu by faith and, hence, certain rules will apply accordingly. Testamentary succession for Hindus is governed under the Indian Succession Act, 1925. A will is very simple to make—all you need to do is put your signature onto a typed (preferred option) will, which would then need to be signed by two witnesses. It is not mandatory to register a will in India (irrespective of whether you are bequeathing immovable or movable properties).
Continue Reading A testator doesn’t have to submit her will to sub-registrar’s office

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

A handwritten will signed by two witnesses is considered valid

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 5th August, 2020 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

My father passed away intestate. We are three siblings. My mother and I live in the house owned by my father, and I want this property to be transferred in my mother’s name. My brother and my sister live separately. Is there a way in which the house can be transferred to my mother without any involvement of my brother?

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.
Continue Reading Suspicious Circumstances & Wills

‘In terrorem clause’ is used to reduce chances of challenge to a Will
Photo: istock

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

Online Wills India
Photo: istock via 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 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

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

 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


Continue Reading You can’t name your pets as the beneficiaries of a trust or Will

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.
Continue Reading Testamentary Trusts – Overview And Insights