Moneylife Events
ML Foundation Event Update: Wills, nomination and transmission

Jayesh Desai, senior associate, Singhi & Co, engaged a large and enthusiastic audience on the issue of wills, nomination and transmission at the Moneylife Foundation on 9 October 2010

Dying without executing a 'will' can lead to a bitter and public dispute between the legal heirs, as was the case with the Ambani brothers. On the other hand, leaving a will behind may not guarantee against litigation, as was witnessed in the tussle over the inheritance of Priyamvada Birla that was contested by her confidant RS Lodha and the Birlas. Last month, the Bombay High Court rejected two different wills submitted by feuding siblings, both signed by their mother.

These cases notwithstanding, it is important that one executes a will-irrespective of whether you are young or old. A will is an expression of one's wish or desire. It is a legal document in which one gives instructions about what should be done with the money and property after one's death.

The issue of wills, nominations and transmission was discussed at a seminar conducted by Moneylife Foundation on 9 October 2010. Jayesh Desai, senior associate, Singhi & Co, engaged an enthusiastic audience. The vastness of the issue and the complications that do arise were brought out in the numerous questions by the participants.

Mr Desai elaborated on what is a will, its importance and terminology; he explained the requirements of a will and types of wills, the need for a probate, the cost of a probate, how to make changes in the will; and described crucial details involving documentation of nominations.

The main elements of a will are the name and identity of the author/testator, two witnesses and their addresses, the list of assets and their distribution. This must be signed by two witnesses and the testator in the presence of each other.

The different types of wills are: Privileged and Unprivileged wills, Conditional or Contingent wills, Joint wills, Mirror wills/Mutual wills, Duplicate wills, Concurrent wills, Sham wills and Holograph wills.

It may be surprising to know that 'nominations' can mean different things, based on the type of assets whether it is real estate, shares, bank account, insurance policy, and so on. There are differences also in the matter of probate, based on the location of the author of the will and the location of the property.

The religion of an individual matters for succession differently under the Hindu Succession Act, Muslim personal law, Parsi personal law,  Christian law and for others by default under the Indian Succession Act. Each has different tables for arriving at legal heirs in the absence of a will. The law also treats ancestral property differently, based on whether it is acquired by will or without a will.

There is a lot of confusion about wills. The facts on some of these issues are as follows: No stamp duty is payable on a will; no special paper is required to execute a will; registration of a will is not compulsory; in Mumbai, a will needs to be probated; a will should clearly demarcate the share of each of the beneficiaries.
Most of the questions that were raised by the participants related to their individual situations. Mr Desai addressed each question patiently, clearly explaining all important aspects.

Moneylife Foundation has planned more seminars on the subject of wills and nominations in response to the huge number of registrations that are still coming in for this programme.

Everybody would want to ensure proper legacy for their loved ones. The way to do this is through a comprehensive will and by completing nominations and transmission formalities for one's movable and immovable properties. Getting a will right is crucial if disputes between heirs over legacy are to be avoided. A will could clear the way. 
Pictures of the event



bharat shah

6 years ago

"As per sec.57 of Indian Succession Act if the will is executed only at metro cities like bombay,madras and calcutta,the probate is required,otherwise probate is not required. Will has to be probated if executed in Presidency towns, U can go for mutation basing on inheritance by will. Mutation only if the will is not disputed by others,otherwise probate at district court."

Subrahmanian S H

6 years ago

Sincere thanks.
In fact I missed the workshop badly as I didn't know the date.
We need a session on "Succession Issues". Kindly keep in mind.


6 years ago

Query: You have mentioned that 'in Mumbai, a Will needs to be probated'. Well, this is news. First of all, it is not clarified whether 'each and every Will whether consisting property or not should be probated ?' Secondly, if it is that Wills involving property should be probated, then I know of a case where recently a residential property in Mumbai was transferred to the beneficiary (out of four legal heirs with three issuing N.O.C. and indemnity from the beneficiary) by a Co-op. Soc. based on the Will without it being probated. Probating of a Will should not be mandatory and should be left to the legal heirs. If they expect a dispute then they can probate it, since probating is a time consuming and expensive affair. When even registering a Will is not mandatory, why Probate should be mandatory ? Seeking clarifications, answers, opinions on this.

Tackling inflation a challenge; haven't failed in the task: FM

New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee today dubbed managing high inflation as one of the biggest challenges before him, though adding that he has not failed on this front, reports PTI.

"One of my biggest challenges is to control inflation but at the same time, I should not stand in the way of higher growth trajectory. It is a difficult challenge for any finance minister", he said in an interview to India Today magazine.

Inflation for the month ended August was 8.5%, while food inflation was 16.24% for the week ended 25th September.

The minister further said the government has been able to bring down food inflation from 20% to 16%.

"I would not say I have failed. I have been able to reduce it from the peak it reached in December 2009 which it was as high as 20%. Now it has been brought down to 16% ", he added.

However, Mr Mukherjee said, "It is a matter of concern since inflation hits the poorer sections the most."

Answering questions on focus of economic policies of Congress, he said, "Aam aadmi (common man) has always been in focus but in different forms."

"When we talk inclusive growth, we talk of him when we talk of growth with equity or garibi hatao, the aam aadmi has always been at the centre but with different definitions and requirements," he added.

Referring to Goods and Services Tax (GST), Mr Mukherjee said, "There is a broad political consensus on about the necessity of GST, about the need to remove multiple points of may take some time but it will be possible."

Mr Mukherjee admitted that there were reservations from some states who think that GST would deny them the autonomy of imposing tax "which they believe is their sovereign right...I don't think politics should be mixed with major economic decisions."

The Centre is trying to evolve a consensus on constitutional amendments to implement GST, which will eventually subsume several indirect taxes like excise, service tax, sales tax, etc.


Thursday Closing Report: A volatile period begins

The market, which seemed buoyant on global cues this morning, witnessed a jittery session resulting in the indices shaving nearly half the gains that were accrued yesterday. Institutional sell-off was seen as the major cause for today’s decline.

The domestic market opened firm this morning touching the day’s high in early trade. However, profit booking set the tone for a gradual slide, which became prominent in the post-noon session. The decline was attributed to selling in capital goods, power and banking stocks. The indices drifted lower amid volatile trading, a day ahead of the release of the monthly inflation numbers for September and food inflation data for the week ended 2nd October. However, the indices closed above the day’s low.

The Sensex settled 190.24 points (0.92%) lower at 20,497. The index touched a 33-month high of 20,854 in early trade and a low of 20,443, intraday. The Nifty ended the session at 6,177, down 56.55 points (0.91%) after touching a high-low of 6,284 and 6,177, respectively.

The overall market breadth was negative today. Five Sensex stocks ended in the green while the balance 25 declined. Of the 50 Nifty stocks, 45 stocks finished lower while five ended with gains. Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index shed 0.27% and the BSE Small-cap index lost 0.49%.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Wipro (up 2.34%), Tata Steel (up 1.97%) and Infosys Technologies (up 1.05%). The key Sensex losers in today’s trade were Reliance Communications (RCom) (down 3.43%), Larsen & Toubro (L&T) (down 3.19%) and NTPC (down 2.57%).

The sectoral gainers were led by BSE Metal (up 0.55%), BSE IT (up 0.48%) and BSE TECk (up 0.11%). BSE Capital Goods (CG) (down 1.94%), BSE Oil & Gas (down 1.54%) and BSE Power (down 1.24%) were the prominent sectoral losers.

Foreign investment in the Indian stock market crossed the magic Rs1 trillion mark ($22 billion) for the first time in history and analysts have predicted the overseas inflows will continue to increase in the coming months.

As per data available with market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have made net purchases of domestic equities worth Rs1,00,574.20 crore till date this year.

Markets in Asia closed mostly higher on the policy-tightening move by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and hopes of the US Federal Reserve providing additional stimulus to boost the economy. Besides, the Bank of Korea left interest rates on hold at 2.25% for the third straight month.

The Shanghai Composite gained 0.64%, Hang Seng jumped 1.68%, Jakarta Composite advanced 0.18%, Nikkei 225 surged 1.91%, Seoul Composite was up 1.26% and Taiwan Weighted added 1.34%. On the other hand, KLSE Composite was down 0.04% and Straits Times shed 0.22%.

Wall Street ended at its best level in five months on better-than-expected earnings reports and a weak dollar, which increased the appetite for riskier assets like stocks and commodities. The day's gains were mostly driven by industrials and materials stocks after China's trade surplus fell to a five-month low for September.

The Dow rose 75.68 points (0.69%) to 11,096. The S&P 500 gained 8.33 points (0.71%) to 1,178. The Nasdaq added 23.31 points (0.96%) to 2,441.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs2,103 crore worth stocks on Wednesday. Domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities worth Rs1,355 crore on the same day.

IT firm Zensar Technologies (up 0.06%) today said it has opened its sixth global delivery centre in Shanghai, China. The centre will be an integral part of the global delivery model, which already includes delivery centres in India and Europe, Zensar Technologies said in a filing to the BSE.

It will provide infrastructure management, application support and product engineering services in chosen verticals like manufacturing, healthcare and government.

Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL) (up 2.79%) today said its board of directors has approved the merger of Godrej Household Products Limited (GHPL) with itself.

The company said the merger subsequent to GCPL's acquisition of 51% stake in Godrej Sara Lee (GSLL) from erstwhile partner Sara Lee Corp, will be applicable with retrospective effective from 1 April 2010. Post-acquisition, GSLL was renamed as Godrej Household Products Limited (GHPL).

Singapore Mercantile Exchange today said the Singapore branch of ICICI Bank Ltd (down 1.81%) has become its Special Clearing Member (SCM) for clearing and settling futures contracts at the bourse.

As an SCM, ICICI Bank will clear and settle trades for its regional and international customers, including any other Non-Clearing Member (NCM), broker member and trade member of the Exchange.


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