Have you made a Will?

Passing away without leaving a clearly defined allocation of assets/ liabilities can be very hassling for the heirs.

Conflicts could arise between various relatives. It could take time to sort things out (between a few months to a few years, based on complications), lead to ambiguity and heartburn beside the fact that settling the disputes might require high legal costs; all this for reasons which are so avoidable.

Creating a framework for transfer of assets can be achieved through writing of a will or creating a trust. It starts with:

  • preparing an exhaustive list of assets / liabilities owned
  • estimating their current & future values (so as not to be unintentionally unfair to any beneficiary )
  • being philosophically clear on how one wants this transfer to happen
    1. Up to what percentage to family members?
    2. Has any social cause /NGO been identified?
  • earmarking them to various beneficiaries 
  • Deciding upon an executor and taking him into confidence. Executor is the person responsible for administering distribution of your assets after your death
  • deciding upon guardians for beneficiaries who are minor

My personal take on this matter is greatly influenced by this saying in Hindi “Pootsaput to kyondhansanchay, poot kaput to kyondhansanchay”. It means that if your heir is deserving why leave money for him? He’ll make it on his own. AND if he is notorious, why leave money for him? He’ll squander it by blowing it up on non-productive things.

It may not be as simple for all others.