The Most Authentic Guide on Personal Finance and Investments


Words of Wisdom : "Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud." ~ Maya Angelou

Don't make life difficult for your family members

It is seen that the paperwork related to our investments is often incomplete or not up-to-date. Also, the details of the same are not known to our family members. As such, in case of any unfortunate eventuality (like one's hospitalization or death), the family members have to really struggle to access the money.

As it is our family members would be under severe emotional stress during such traumatic times. And, if on top of that they have to run around to put all the papers in order, it is only going to add to their misery.

All this can be easily avoided, if we take care of a few basics.


1. Jointly held
Wherever possible and feasible hold your assets jointly — for example a joint bank account with your spouse or children, joint ownership of flats, joint names in bank lockers, jointly held FDs and mutual funds, etc.

This would ensure that in your absence, the joint owner(s) can continue to manage and utilize the assets without any problems.

2. Nomination
Ensure that you have duly nominated someone or the other for your various assets such as bank accounts, FDs, properties, shares, mutual funds, insurance etc. This would enable your nominees to have quick access to the same.

However, kindly note that 'Nomination' is NOT a 'Will'. Nominee is merely a trustee who is under the obligation to transfer the assets to the heirs. (Of course, nominees could be one of the beneficiaries under the Will.) Nomination is merely a facility provided so that a person's assets are passed on to someone he trusts soon after his death. Since the legal process for actual transfer of assets to the heirs may take time, nomination helps the family to get access to the assets.

3. Will
Will helps in quick and easy transfer of your assets to your legal heirs and/or others to whom you wish to pass on any assets after you pass away. Registered Will makes the process all the more simpler and faster.

In most instances, writing a Will is a pretty simple affair. You can write one on a simple piece of paper (stamp paper is not necessary), in ink, in any language, signed on each page, mention who will execute the Will and get it witnessed by two people (not the beneficiaries). Thereafter, any lawyer will arrange to register it for you. It will cost at most a few thousand rupees only.

4. Information
Most importantly, you must keep your family informed about all your assets, joint ownerships, nominations, Will etc. {Of course, you need not tell them who the beneficiaries are under the Will, but at least they should know where it is kept.)

Since acquisition or disposal of assets is a regular affair, you need to review the above four points and make appropriate changes from time to time. Don't worry! You don't have to do this too often. Once in 1-2 years is likely to adequately serve the purpose. 


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