Channel: Economy

Thursday, April 22, 2010
Expats and NRIs in the UK - are your assets in India protected?
There are no top marks to guess that today’s world is a complicated place to live and even more complicated after you die, well at least for those who are left to sort out the management and distribution of your assets.
 
 

There are no top marks to guess that today’s world is a complicated place to live and even more complicated after you die, well at least for those who are left to sort out the management and distribution of your assets. The process becomes even more complicated if these assets or their direct beneficiaries are in another country.

 

The UK census of 2001 puts the number of Indian origin people living in the UK as over a million. On top of that there is the migrant working population such as the IT and Financial Services workers that come to the UK for a short stint anywhere from 3 months to 2 years.

 

Although it is hard to estimate what proportion of this group has assets in India but it is safe to assume that at least 20% of the Indian origin population in the UK will own assets of some kind in India or be a net beneficiary of assets.

 

Almost every other Indian origin family has some sort of gripe about family property or asset disputes in India. The core issue is lack of proper documentation. The family disputes amongst siblings or second/third generations really erupt as result of poor planning by the senior members of the family. There are numerous cases of bitter and acrimonious split between families because there was no clear will or estate planning done by the original proprietor(s) of the assets.

 

The problem is even more acute for people resident in the UK who are likely to inherit such properties back in India. Whilst will and trust creation is a common in the UK but not so much in India. “But help is now at hand” says Sandeep Nerlekar, Chief Executive of Warmond Trustees and Executors which is India’s only full service trusteeship company that provides solutions on estate planning.

 

It is surprising to see that so many business people fail to get their succession planning as well as Wills sorted out in good time, i.e. whilst they are still alive and able to make sound decisions. “Smooth passing over of assets should be the only and main goal of the estate planning”, adds Sandeep. His firm Warmond, true to its Indian entrepreneurial spirit and IT prowess, goes a step further in introducing revolutionary Video recording of the will. “Documents can be fudged, voices can be faked, but a videographed evidenced is very hard to dispute in the courts of law”, says Sandeep.

 

People’s assets are getting more and more complicated. Today they do not just own a plain vanilla property portfolio but have a footprint across different asset classes such as – equities, real estate, business interests, savings, pensions, insurance policies and now even digital assets.

 

To ring-fence these and ensure smooth transition to its rightful custodians is what Warmond specialises in. I asked Sandeep this last question on whether he drew inspiration from a Dutch village with the same name. He was quick to remind me that living in England I should be aware that Warmond is an old English name that means “to guard”.

 

For more details on how Warmond can help you in your estate and will planning please visit: www.warmond.co.in

  

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