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5 Things To Keep In Mind While Making A Succession Plan

Proper succession planning will ensure peace of mind for you and your children. Read on to find more.

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Meghna Maiti
March 4, 2023
Succession Planning

Succession Planning

Many senior people shy away from their property and wealth succession planning. This could be because it brings up painful reminders of their eventual death. Hence there are a lot of Indians who do not have a will or succession plan in place. It could be risky as it might leave their successors with a great deal of work, including hiring a lawyer, preparing documents, etc., in case anything unfortunate happens to them.

It may also involve bitter fights between siblings over property division.

While it may seem to some people that a succession plan may be insignificant, it may, in reality, complicate things for your children. But conversely, if you put a plan in place, your family could be better off and relieved later when you are not there anymore.

Says advocate Abhishek A Rastogi, founder of Rastogi Chambers, legal chambers: “Identification of the entire list of assets and liabilities is most important so that there is transparency, and the details are clear; this will assist at a later stage for claiming benefit.”

Here are five recommendations on succession planning for an individual:

Make a will:The first step of succession planning is creating a will that is free from ambiguity, legally compliant, and proper for execution once the individual is not around. “Individuals should understand how their wealth will pass on to the heirs if there is no will in place (intestate succession). It will depend on religion and gender. If you want it to pass on differently than what the intestate succession laws say, you need to make a will,” says Kiran Telang, Mumbai-based certified financial planner and author of Mindful Retirement.

Nominations To Your Investments & Assets: The most basic thing to do is ensure you at least have nominations in all your investments and assets you own. It will remove the first hassle of producing legal papers to claim assets from an institution. Legal heirs can, of course, raise a claim if there is a dispute, but in most cases, nominations work well to ease the passing of financial assets.

Create A Family Trust:The creation of a private family trust always helps as it ensures the health, education, maintenance, financial, and other concerns of the children are well taken care of as a proper guardian is appointed to look after the children as per the guidelines provided by the individual when parents are not around. “If one is clear about what one wants to leave to whom, they could create a trust and transfer assets slowly to the trust and make them beneficiaries,” says Shwetha Jain, financial planner, CEO and founder of Investography, a financial planning firm.

Ensuring Smooth Transfer Of Properties:Sorting matters like physical properties in multiple places and either transferring them or ensuring that the transfer is smooth or even selling them if the beneficiaries are abroad or may not be interested is a good idea. The idea is to make the transfer as smooth as possible.

Signing Gift Deed:“Probation of wills can be avoided by using a pragmatic approach of signing gift deed. This will save from the substantial hassle of probation and will make the transfer easy by having a common written understanding”, adds Pooja M Rastogi, senior consultant, Rastogi Chambers. However, this option is useful only when the sale of the property is not required.

While you may still be wary of planning for your successors, the sooner you do it, the better it is, according to financial planners. However, as is true for any financial plan, one must review and update one’s succession plan according to one’s needs and life circumstances, which includes one’s children’s marriage, job change, death of a spouse, or the start of a new business venture.

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