May 21, 2011

Why to write and register a WILL: Some practical suggestions


Most people think that there is automatic clause in succession law that in case of demise of owner of immovable property, wife/husband/legal heirs become automatically legal owners of immovable property   - completely false. 97% persons believe so and don’t write their WILL.

Registering WILL is now compulsory for those having property in their name. Otherwise legal heirs will have to get probate/succession certificate from civil court, which is not easy to get. All our efforts to amass wealth are for the benefits of wife and children and is aimed at leaving behind a rich legacy for our loved ones - firstly wife and family members.

In the absence of proper and registered WILL, property gets distributed equally among legal heirs according to the succession laws based on your religion.  Today , middle class senior citizens have significant self acquired assets and want a say in their bequest(whom to give property on demise )  among the younger generation, there are multiple marriages, inter-caste and inter religion marriages and children from different spouses, which increase the importance of writing and registering  WILL, to avoid confusion over which succession law would apply.

It is your own wealth and only you (and your spouse), have the right to decide who gets what. All children are not equal - financially or in terms of physical and emotional well being. A person with a dependent widowed daughter, or a physically - challenged child, may want to make special provision for them through a WILL, over children who are better-off. In the absence of WILL, property will be distributed by Hindu law if Hindu - equal share to mother, wife and children. Hence a flat will be owned jointly by all legal heirs and mutuated in all legal heirs’ names a WILL gives option to you  to give more to your needy children. . This can only be done through a registered WILL.   

Finally WILL writing is not filling up the blanks.  Serious discussion between husband and wife has to take place on the issue. Firstly, it is my belief that  everything should go to spouse because he/she has to spend next few years alone  and should have flat/house of own  and adequate self financial support so that there is no dependency on  children. Afterwards surviving spouse shall decide how to distribute the wealth depending upon the treatment meted out to him/her by children after the demise of her/his  spouse. 

If you are fearing that your WILL is likely to be contested, kindly take following additional precautions:

1. Have three witnesses instead of two witnesses - reliable, trustworthy and younger than you because many times even probate is also contested by greedy relatives.

2. Put your thumb impression along with your signature at every page and at the end of the WILL. There is no legal bar to this.

3. Have a medical certificate at the end of the WILL stating your competency to write WILL, if you are beyond 70 years and /or not keeping good health.

4. Put a “No contest in the WILL “i.e. Anyone who contests the WILL, would be completely disinherited.

In case of unregistered WILL (which includes no WILL) , the beneficiaries must be asked to obtain succession certificate/ probate order  from a competent civil court  "decide now whether you wish your wife/husband  to spend four percent of value of property, visit to advocate office, court and delays  of many years or write and register  your WILL.

-   Courtesy: Agewell Supporter


Trained Workers’ Network for Old Age Healthcare - A Progress Report


Trained Workers’ Network for Old Age Healthcare
(For Slums & JJ clusters of Delhi & NCR)

In collaboration with
FORD FOUNDATION


 PROGRESS REPORT       
(As on 21st May 2011)

Pathetic health condition of old people living in slums & Jhuggi Jhopri clusters of Delhi & surrounding areas has enforced Agewell Foundation to do something for improving health conditions of old people.

With the financial support from Ford Foundation Agewell Foundation has initiated the Healthcare Project with the objective to create healthcare awareness Slums & Jhuggi Jhopri clusters of Delhi & NCR and empower older persons to get proper treatment/medicines for their diseases.

Older persons living in slums & Jhuggi-Jhopri clusters were encouraged to “Learn from your symptoms and seek Low Cost Medical intervention” with the basic idea of “Early diagnose of symptoms of diseases, timely consultation and medication can improve health conditions of poor older persons of slum areas considerably”.

Project was started on 1st September 2010 with a Project Coordinator, 2 teams of 6 team members and 2 team leaders and an Assistant.

For this project Agewell Foundation has identified about 430 volunteers mostly with medical background, who had confirmed their willingness and availability of time for this project as and when their services required.

With the support from Agewell volunteers, guidelines, useful medical tips and other project material were developed to help Agewell Health Care Teams in providing assistance to affected older persons. Out of volunteers’ network a Group of Trainers was also formed to train Team Leaders and Team members. Both the teams were adequately trained on how to deal with older persons & their family members and how to coordinate with other stakeholders viz. NGOs, government hospitals, clinics, health authorities, etc. in the process to extending help/assistance to poor and needy older persons suffering from any diseases or having symptoms of any disease.


1.   During the period of past nine months Trained Workers Teams visited 584 slums/JJ clusters spread across Delhi & NCR and identified over 23000 families with at least one older person as family members.

2.   Agewell Trained Workers Team members interacted with over 26000 older persons including approx. 12500 older women out of total 26258 older persons reportedly living in slum/Jhuggi-Jhopri clusters. 

3.    During the period over 22000 older persons were identified suffering from at least one disease or having symptoms of disease/s.

4.      Major diseases were found as under, whose symptoms were found largely in older persons living in slums/jhuggi-jhopri clusters.
·     Eye Related Diseases
·     Hearing disorder
·     Tuberculosis (T.B.)
·     Kidney Related Diseases
·     Arthritis & Osteoporosis (Weak Bones)
·     Mental Illnesses /psychological problems
·     Blood Pressure
·     Heart Problems & Heart Attack
·     Cancer
·     Diabetes
·     Kidney Disease
·     Prostate Enlargement
·     Dementia/Alzheimer's Disease

5.      Over 21500 older persons were successfully assisted/helped through Agewell interventions. Out of them 6256 older persons whose health condition was found critical and are in need of constant/regular care/medical help, were also referred to Agewell Volunteers for further action.

Statement of the activities conducted
(From 1st September 2010 to 21st May 2011) under the Healthcare Project


Month
Nos. of Slums/JJ Clusters visited
Nos. of Families visited
Nos. of older Persons in Families
Nos. of Older Persons Met
Nos. of Older Persons found Suffering/having symptoms of disease/s
Nos. of older persons assisted
September 2010
45
1545
2424
1687
1498
1425
October 2010
51
2018
3112
2548
2255
2184
November 2010
63
2705
3514
3055
2677
2599
December 2010
79
2954
3759
3496
3048
2910
January 2011
74
2855
3688
3290
2645
2560
February 2011
72
2915
3550
3311
2890
2777
March 2011
75
3114
3784
3475
2845
2801
April 2011
74
2941
3591
3095
2588
2410
May 2011
so far
51
2183
2520
2301
2021
1849
Total
584
23230
29942
26258
22467
21515

Healthcare assistance/help provided to older persons

Month

Nos. of older persons assisted
Kind of Intervention
Counseling/ Guidance to
(old persons/ family members)
Referred to Govt./
Charitable Hospitals/
clinics
Free Medicines/ Tips/
First aid
Refer to Agewell Volunteers
September 2010
1425
1090
294
354
420
October 2010
2184
1351
488
556
834
November 2010
2599
1524
680
635
812
December 2010
2910
2045
721
530
687
January 2011
2560
1855
559
465
744
February 2011
2777
2166
690
440
768
March 2011
2801
2087
702
638
817
April 2011
2410
1458
644
612
729
May 2011 so far
1849
1205
344
424
445

21515
14781
5122
4654
6256

* The project is in progress