Given the dynamics of wealth creation in the past two decades, Asian and Indian households have not only witnessed some of the largest absolute gains in wealth in the world, they are also poised to witness one of the largest wealth transfers in history. This takes the focus beyond wealth creation and brings attention to the questions of PROTECTION, PRESERVATION AND TRANSMISSION of this Wealth. It is important to consider a few factors to make this process effective.
Would you like a one-time transfer of all assets or milestone-driven objectives for the next generation? Are there special situations in the family that need to be taken care of?
Your personal Balance Sheet
Take some time out and make a complete checklist of your assets and liabilities, including how they are currently held and where they are located.
Identify all beneficiaries and omissions
Your intention should be to allocate assets to friends, families or other causes. You may also want to specify omissions with an explanation to prevent any challenges to the validity of your final plan.
Identify people to help you in executing your plan
Identifying those who can help execute your succession plan, whether as an executor or trustee, or a close family member or a professional is an important part of the process.
Writing a WILL
A ‘Will” is a simple way of passing on wealth. It is relatively easy to write and can be written on a piece of paper signed by its author (testator) along with two or more witnesses and it can be revoked with a new Will or amended through a Codicil as many times as one wants.
Traditional Route: Gifting
Gifting is another way to affect a transfer or property if the control and possession of such a property can be given away during one’s lifetime. Gifting to certain relatives is tax-free. Gifting to persons other than relatives is tax-free if gifted during marriage. However, if it involves immoveable property, stamp duty implications need to be taken into accounts.