Division of property in the absence of a Will

While you create wealth and assets for your family, do you know how your wealth would be divided among your family members after your demise?

After death, the wealth and property of the deceased are, usually, shared by the family members. However, how the property would be shared often leads to confusions and family tensions if there is no written guideline about the same. A Will, therefore, is required in these cases. A Will is a legal document which specifies the division of the assets of the deceased. It states the property owned by the deceased and gives guidelines on how the property is to be distributed and among whom. A Will, therefore, expresses the intention of the deceased with regards to their property’s division and helps in the allocation of the deceased’s assets. But what if there is no Will?

If there is no Will, the distribution of property depends on the religious laws governing the family. Let’s understand what such laws state –

Distribution of property without a Will as per religious laws

  • In the case of a Hindu family, the property is divided equally between the male’s wife, mother, and children
  • In case of a Christian, the widow would get 1/3rd part of the property and the remaining 2/3rd would be divided between the children
  • For a Parsi family, the widow and each child get an equal share. If there are parents, each parent would get half the share received by one child
  • In case of a Muslim family, only 1/3rd of the deceased’s property can be distributed through a Will. The remaining 2/3rd would be distributed as per their personal succession laws.

Nomination and the role of a nominee

You must have come across the term nomination and appointing a nominee when making investments. Do you know what it means?

Nomination means appointing a nominee to collect the proceeds of your investments in case of your death. A nominee is the designated  person to whom you have given the right to collect your investment proceeds in case of your death. Though the nominee can collect the proceeds, he might not necessarily be the rightful heir. For instance, you might nominate your siblings to collect the money but the rightful heirs would be your children and/or spouse. A nominee acts as a custodian for the asset collected. The nominee should collect the asset and transfer it to the rightful legal heirs of the deceased. However, in many cases, the legal heir is appointed as the nominee in which case the nominee also becomes the beneficiary.

Lack of nomination and property distribution

If a nominee has not been appointed and there is no Will, various documents would be required to obtain the deceased’s property. The legal heirs of the deceased would have to submit a succession certificate which is required to be obtained from a court of law. A succession certificate is a legal document which authenticates the legal heirs of the deceased and gives them the right to get the deceased’s property transferred in their name.

Availing a succession certificate

As stated earlier, a succession certificate is a legal document and so to avail it various steps are required. These include the following –

  • You have to file an application with either a district court or with a High Court who has jurisdiction on the asset to be transferred
  • You would have to mention the name of the person wishing to avail the certificate and his/her relationship with the deceased, name of legal heirs, complete details of the death of the individual and the details of the assets which are to be transferred
  • A copy of the death certificate of the individual should also be submitted
  • Once applied, the court would give notice in the newspaper for a specified period. If no one contests the application for succession, an order is passed by the court to issue the succession certificate
  • A court fee is payable for the court’s services which are expressed as a percentage of the value of the assets which are to be transferred subject to a maximum limit
  • Once the certificate is granted, the deceased’s property can be collected by the legal heirs and transferred in their name

So, understand what a Will is, how it helps and how the property stands to be divided in the absence of a Will. Try and make a Will so that there would be no hassles in the division of your property between your family members after death.

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World No Tobacco Day 2021

Come 31st May and you would see different posters and ad campaigns increasing the awareness of tobacco-related health hazards. 31st May is celebrated every year as the World No Tobacco Day when the ill-effects of tobacco consumption and maintaining lung health are stressed upon. Though the World No Tobacco Day is supposed to increase awareness against tobacco use, many individuals ignore the message. Do you consider the World No Tobacco Day seriously?

According to a report published by the World Health Organisation (WHO), tobacco kills more than 1 million people every day. Approximately 9.5% of the total deaths recorded in India were due to tobacco usage. The most common ailment of tobacco use is cardio-vascular diseases (CVDs) and the number of deaths due to cardio-vascular diseases in 2018 was is quite high in individuals of all ages. Have a look –

CVD deaths due to tobacco

Despite these numbers, 266.8 million people are either active tobacco users or are exposed to second-hand smoke and face an increased chance of cardio-vascular diseases. As per a survey conducted in 2016-17 by GATS ( Global Adult Tobacco Survey), the number of tobacco users in India went as high as 28.6% of the adult population.

As this year’s, World No Tobacco Day’s theme revolves around Lung Health, let’s explore this aspect and find out ways that help in smoking cessation.

Major Tobacco products include – Cigarettes, Cigars, Little Cigars, Cigarillos, Dissolvable Products like lozenges, strips, or sticks Electronic Cigarettes also referred to as: Vape Pen, e-Hookah, Hookah Pen or Traditional Smokeless Tobacco Products like cured tobacco in the form of loose leaf, plug, or twist. Tobacco smoke contains close to 4000 chemicals, 40 of which are known carcinogens or Cancer causing.

There are pharmacological and non- pharmacological interventions through which smoking cessation can be achieved.

1.  Remain motivated for quitting with a strong Will power:

Not to make this article one on motivation, but behavioral scientists believe that course correction to any bad- habit has a bit of psycho-somatic aspect to it.

  • Being in a good company of non-smokers will help keep your smoking urges in control.
  • A support system of near and dear ones who have successfully quit and are happy to help you.
  • Sign up for a “stop-smoking group”
  • Keeping oral substitutes for a cigarette such as a toothpick, coffee stirrer etc. help you get over the urge of keeping your lips occupied with a cigarette stick.
  • Keep healthy substituents such as juice or water handy to control the nicotine urges.
  • Beat the craving by deep breathing, drinking water, delaying in acting till the craving passes, distract yourself with physical activities etc.

2. Use NRTs:

Using Nicotine Restricting therapy such as- skin patches, chewing gums, lozenges, nasal spray, inhaler etc. NRTs reduce your cravings and supply you with a controlled dose of nicotine while sparing you from exposure to other chemicals found in tobacco.

Pharmacological interventions, when used with behavioral strategies, can produce quit rates of about 25-30%.

Agents that appear to decrease craving are Bupropion, Selegeline, Nortryptiline, etc.

NRT provides a slow and steady supply of nicotine in order to relieve craving and withdrawal symptoms and is associated with quit rates of about 23% as against 13% with placebo.

3. Alternative therapies:

Filters, Smoking deterrents, nicotine drinks, lollipops, straws, and lip balms, hypnosis, yoga,mindfulness, and meditation, herbs and supplements etc. help control the nicotine cravings. Make use of social media to meet people and discuss their success stories. Smoke free websites, Live Help through Online chats, making use of information and self-help material and advice to group therapy or individual counselling in person, by phone, or online -give massive boost to an individual’s resolve to quit smoking.

You cannot ignore the harmful effects of tobacco consumption. You can, however, take a positive step and choose your health over tobacco and its ill-effects. Here are some of the benefits of quitting tobacco –

  • Improved health

This one is actually a no-brainer. If you avoid tobacco usage, your health would improve. Your lungs would thank you and you can lower the possibility of cardio vascular diseases. Moreover, your family, which might be a victim of passive smoking, would also benefit from your decision to quit tobacco. They would not have to inhale harmful smoke from your beloved cigarette and their health would also improve. Moreover, if you add regular exercising to your routine, you can become fit and healthy.

  • Longer life

As your health improves, you can live a longer and more enriched life. A longer lifespan means you get to spend more time with your family and you can create beautiful memories.

  • Financial saving

Did you know that quitting tobacco also helps you save money? Firstly, your expenditure on tobacco reduces and you save money. Secondly, as your health improves, medical ailments and diseases are kept at bay. When you become physically healthy, the expenses incurred on health related illnesses are minimized and, as a result, you save money.

  • Better insurability

Both life insurance and health insurance policies are affected by your tobacco consumption. If you consume tobacco, the premiums under both these policies increase. Moreover, the insurance company might also pose a restriction on the coverage features making the scope of the policy limited. So, giving up tobacco also helps in improving your insurability and, once again, helps you in saving money on the premium outgoes.

With all these benefits of a tobacco-free life, don’t you think giving up tobacco is in your best interests?

So, this World No Tobacco Day, take a pledge to give up tobacco. Though the process might be slow, at least it would be a start. Remind yourself of all the benefits of living a tobacco-free life and any temptations that you face would slowly melt away. So, make 31st May count. Choose a tobacco-free life and do yourself, your health and your family a huge favour.

Also, check out our video below to spread awareness & support our #QuitSmoking campaign

These mistakes can cost you a comfortable retirement

When you think of retirement you think of days when you can sit back, relax and enjoy life one day at a time. However, relaxation and enjoyment come at a price. You need a source of income post retirement so that you can lead a comfortable life. Since you are no longer in active employment, you need a retirement fund for meeting your lifestyle expenses. That is why a nest egg is required.

Though you know this, you make many mistakes when planning for retirement. These mistakes prove hazardous and take away the comfortable retired life which you have dreamed for yourself. Below is the list of some common mistakes which people commit when it comes to retirement planning. Find out which ones are you committing –

#1 – Starting late

A very common and yet the most dangerous mistake is delaying your retirement plan. When you are young and in the prime of your career retirement is the last thing on your mind. Be that as it may, retirement planning should start from an early age if you wish to accumulate a substantial corpus over the years. When you start early you get the benefit of compounding and the returns are substantial over a long-term horizon. Moreover, you don’t need to save substantial amounts to create an optimal fund. If started early, little amounts would also amass to a considerable corpus because of the power of compounding. For instance, if you start retirement planning when you are 30, you can accumulate a corpus of about INR 1.90 crores even if you save INR 5000 per month and the interest rate is assumed to be a moderate 10% per annum. The same corpus reduces to INR 1.13 crores if you delay by merely 5 years and start investing at 35. So, delaying your retirement plan is a bad move.

Remedy – Be the early bird. Start early, invest affordably and build a substantial retirement corpus.

#2 – Investing primarily in fixed income investments

Many of you are risk averse and don’t want to take chances with your retirement funds. As a result, you invest in investments which provide fixed and guaranteed returns. While fixed returns are not bad, they lose their value against inflation. Since you are building a retirement corpus, you would need funds after a specified time. Over that time inflation would eat into the fixed returns and the corpus generated would prove insufficient to meet the inflated expenses post-retirement.

Remedy – Choose investment avenues which are linked to the market so that your corpus becomes inflation adjusted. If market volatility is a problem you can choose market-linked debt funds which would minimize risks while at the same time making your corpus inflation-proof.

#3 – Irregular savings

Investing in retirement is not a one-time affair or a practice which you can undertake when you want to. Only a regular and disciplined savings approach would build up a corpus sufficient enough to pay for your life post-retirement.

Remedy – Create a disciplined investing portfolio where you direct funds towards retirement on a monthly basis.

#4 – Insufficient health cover

When it comes to medical expenses everyone knows that they have become unaffordable for a common man. Medical inflation has increased so much that an average hospitalization threatens to burn a deep hole in your pockets. Moreover, as you grow old, illnesses increase requiring frequent medical attention. In such a case if you do not have sufficient health insurance cover in retirement, you might face a financial nightmare.

Remedy –Invest in a health insurance plan with a coverage optimal enough to provide for your medical costs post-retirement. If affording the premium is difficult, choose top-up or super top-up health plans to increase the coverage while keeping premiums low. Try increasing the coverage level as you near retirement to ensure a decent level after you retire.

Read more about Why super top-up is the need of the hour?

#5 – Continuing loans till old age

When you have loaned a part of your income is spent on paying the EMIs. If loans are continued till your old age, you would be paying off the EMIs from your retirement corpus. This would reduce the corpus and might make it insufficient for meeting other financial obligations.

Remedy – Try and pay off your loans as soon as possible. Do not continue them beyond the age of 60 years when retirement is on the horizon. Retire as a debt-free individual to have financial security.
If you are making any of these mistakes, try and rectify them. You have been given the remedy and now it’s on you to create a fool-proof retirement plan which would ensure your retired life to be a golden period.
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Is it time to change your car insurance company?

Car insurance policies are mandatory as per the rules laid down in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Every car is supposed to carry a valid insurance cover on it to run on Indian roads. The policies come for a specified tenure. Once the tenure is over, the policy should be renewed for continuous coverage. At the time of renewal you have the option of continuing the same policy or switching car insurance to another insurer. You can switch your insurer and still continue to retain the accumulated no claim bonus of the earlier policy. Though switching car insurance is allowed, is it a wise move?

Changing car insurance companies should be done with careful consideration. You should change companies when you find better alternatives elsewhere. When you are careful in choosing another company, you can get better benefits in another policy than those promised by your existing one. So, it is time to change your car insurance company if another company is offering you the following:-

  • A higher IDV

IDV is the Insured Declared Value of your car insurance plan. It represents the market value of your car after deducting depreciation based on the car’s age. The IDV should be proportionate to the value and age of your car. A high IDV is advisable because it ensures a higher claim payment in case of total loss or theft of the car. At the time of renewal, if you are getting a higher IDV in another policy, switching car insurance would be a good move as you would be able to increase the coverage level and, consequently, the claim pay-out.
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  • Lower premiums

One of the main benefits of switching is that you can get lower premiums on another policy. Different insurance companies price their car insurance policies differently. When you compare, you might get a policy with a lower premium than your existing plan. In this case, changing car insurance company would result in the reduction of your premium outgo and it would be a good move. However, when opting for lower premiums, make sure not to compromise on the IDV and the coverage features. Switch only when you get a low premium along with better IDV and comprehensive coverage features in another policy.

  • Better discounts

Car insurance policies give attractive discounts which lower the premium payable. When renewing the plan, you should hunt for the maximum possible discount offered by insurance companies. If another company is offering a higher rate of discount on its car insurance policy, switching to the company would be a prudent as your premium costs would reduce and you would be able to save money.

  • Better claim settlement ratio

Claim settlement is of utmost importance as your car insurance policy proves its worth when your claims are settled quickly and easily. Insurance companies have come up with different innovations in the field of claim settlement. They are promising to expedite their claim settlement process with better tools and applications. If another insurance company is offering you an edge over your current company’s claim settlement process, you should switch your plan. You should also look for the claim settlement ratio of different insurers and choose a company which has a higher ratio than your current one.

  • Better post-sales service

If you switch to an insurance company which has good post-sales services, your car insurance experience would improve. A different insurer might give you regular updates about your policy, information on maintaining your car, notifications of latest developments in the car insurance segment, etc. If you want to enjoy these innovative and enhanced post-sales services offered by another car insurance company, you should change your insurer.

Read more about Complete guide to switching car insurance

So, when thinking about switching car insurance companies, look for these points. If you find a policy which is better on all or maximum of these parameters, switching would be a wise choice. To switch, compare car insurance policies. Unless you can compare your existing plan with other available plans, you wouldn’t be able to find a plan better than your current policy. So, when renewing car insurance, go online, compare and then switch your car insurer.

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Are you buying maternity insurance? Check these things first!

One of the biggest blessings during a lifetime is that of becoming parents. The very idea of giving birth to your little one can be both emotional and blissful. However, there is another aspect to parenthood that one must not forget about, the additional expenses.

The moment you start planning for a kid, you must also plan your finances as well. The simple reason is that there are a lot of risks and complications that might come along with motherhood. And of course, raising a kid requires lots of proper financial planning.

The availability of health insurance for pregnancy is the first check that one should do. You must also plan for the additional expenses that you will have to take care of immediately after the birth of your child. There is no denying that parenthood comes with a flurry of emotions and if you have to worry about the expenses as well, it can be a bit overwhelming.

Having a maternity insurance plan will ensure that you are not bogged down by such expenses. There are several medical insurance plans which offer maternity benefits. While it is good to have those benefits, they will in most cases leave you wanting for more. Or you might end up still paying from your pockets.

A separate maternity insurance plan is what you should be looking at. In any metro city, a good hospital would charge you anywhere between INR 70,000 to INR 1 Lac for pregnancy. And things can get a bit out of hand if the doctor recommends a C-section.

The Need for a Maternity Insurance Plan

The prices of medical procedures are constantly on the rise. Without proper planning, it will be a daunting task for you to get through maternity. While one should always pray for a smooth and complexity-free pregnancy, there are a lot of factors which are beyond your control. An emergency during pregnancy will easily deplete your savings quickly.

On the other hand, if you have the best maternity health insurance plan, you can concentrate on taking care of your spouse or give the much-needed time to the new member of the family. Rather than constantly worrying about arranging funds.

Among the various types of inflation that our country witnesses, medical inflation is one of the steepest. The 15-18% inflation means that charges will only get higher in the future.

If you plan properly and well in advance, you no longer would have to worry about the expenses. Here is all that you need to know about the coverage of a maternity insurance plan.

  • It offers hospital benefits.
  • It includes pre-hospitalisation cover up to 30 days and post-hospitalisation cover up to 60 days.
  • The plan covers charges such as room charge, consultancy charge, nursing charge, cost of medicines, ambulance charges etc.
  • It offers coverage for pre/post-natal expenses, complications during or post pregnancy and expenses related to a normal or caesarian delivery.
  • It also offers coverage for the new born baby between 1 to 90 days.

However, the plan doesn’t offer coverage such as medical expenses during pregnancy and expenses that are associated with pre-delivery tests.

Factors to look Into

Before you proceed with buying a health insurance plan for your spouse, here are some things that you should be aware of. Of course, the above-mentioned features should also be on your watch list. It would ensure that you buy a maternity insurance plan that fits into your needs seamlessly.

Waiting Period

Most insurers require policyholders to serve a waiting period before receiving the benefits of a specific illness. Maternity is no different. On average, insurers must serve a waiting period between 2-6 years before making claims. It is thus recommended to buy one at the earliest. Yes, there are a few plans that have 90 days waiting period. But in any case, you will have to serve a waiting period.


The premiums for a maternity insurance plan are slightly on the higher side when compared with a health insurance plan. Yet, if you consider all the benefits that it offers, one wouldn’t mind paying the higher premium.


Most employers offer health insurance plans with maternity benefits. You must do a quick assessment and if you feel it might suffice, then there is no need for a separate plan. If you already have a health insurance plan with maternity benefits, you can claim your employer’s plan and not use your individual plan. And eventually, apply for a no claims bonus and save considerably on renewals.

Best Maternity Health Insurance Plan

Here is a collated list of some of the best plans that you can find across the country at this point in time. The list includes the feature and benefits of the plans.

MaxBupa – Heartbeat Family Floater

The plan offers excellent maternity benefits under three plans, Silver, Gold and Platinum. It offers coverage for maternity as well as baby care post-delivery. It has a unique feature where it covers vaccinations for the very first year. You can avail the benefits of two deliveries.

Royal Sundaram – Total Health Plus

It offers maternity benefits and covers any complications that can arise out of delivery or pregnancy. The only downside to the plan being the waiting period of 3 years. Thus, you would need to plan well in advance.

Cigna TTK – ProHealth Plus Plan

It offers maternity benefits, vaccination charges for the first year and coverage for the newborn. The maximum sum insured is INR 10 Lac under this plan and offers INR 15,000 as normal delivery expenses and INR 25,000 for c-sections. It has a waiting period of 48 months, thus planning is essential.

Apollo Munich Family Floater

The easy family floater plan is available as Standard, Exclusive and Premium. The Exclusive and Premium plans offer maternity coverage while Standard is a normal health insurance plan. The plans include expenses related to maternity and coverage for new born baby from 1-90 days.

Star Health Wedding Gift Pregnancy Cover

This is one of the best wedding gifts that you can hand over to someone. The plan covers two deliveries, both normal as well as C-Section and other pre and post-delivery related expenses. Since it has a waiting period of 3 years, it serves as an ideal wedding gift.

Proper planning has saved the day for ages and will continue to do so. You can also reap the benefits of planning. Plan your pregnancy well in advance and do not forget about the insurance aspect of it. You must buy a maternity health insurance plan well ahead of time so as to get through the waiting periods.

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