News & Notes 693:Information for Aurovilians about last wills & testaments

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693 icon.jpg   News & Notes 693
1 April 2017

Information for Aurovilians about last wills & testaments

Dear Community,

The Entity::Auroville Council would like to offer a reminder and some valuable information about last wills and testaments. Many of us set this question aside without realizing that doing so can create complex situations for the ones remaining when someone leaves his/her body.

Most Aurovilians are not aware of the legalities involved in making a will and what the consequences may be for a partner or young children left behind if there is no legal will. Below is a brief summary of an article from Auroville Today (December 2015, no.317)

For more details consult the main article on Auronet: […]

As this is the time of year when many Aurovilians visit their home countries, we encourage you to clarify your intentions and to complete these formalities while you are in your country of origin.

1) Last Will and Testaments

For Aurovilians of foreign origin:

  • It is important to have a will made in accordance with the laws of your country of origin to ensure that all legalities are being observed. If there are also assets in India, they need to be included. Be sure to make it clear that the house where you live in Auroville belongs to the Auroville Foundation. If there is no legal will, your money or assets may go to a distant relative and not to your partner here in Auroville or to the Auroville projects of your choice.
  • If you have no intention or possibility to return to your country of origin, a testament can also be made in India. (The process is outlined in detail in the article mentioned above.)
  • A testament can also contain bequests (donations) to Auroville or to specific projects within Auroville. It makes sense to do such a donation through the Auroville International Center in your country as many Auroville International Centres qualify for tax-free bequests. Contact the AVI centre in your country for more details.

For Indian nationals

  • The system is simpler here in India as there are no inheritance tax laws. Your beneficiaries will not pay any inheritance tax. Auroville does not pay inheritance tax on bequests it receives from Indian nationals.

2) Other complementary actions

  • Designate a nominee for Indian bank accounts and other investments so someone can easily access your accounts upon your death. If there is no legal will though, the money may have to be handed over by the nominee to the one who is the inheritor according to the law of your country of origin. If there is a legal will, the nominee will have to hand the money over to the executor. Most banks can give a standard form which needs to be filled and be countersigned by the bank manager.
  • File your last will with the Financial Service along with other useful personal information. This will be stored in the safe and made available when it is needed. Also, Inform the Auroville Financial Service in writing about who will manage your account at that time. Again, if there is a legal will, this money will have to be handed over to the executor.
  • Fill in the Farewell form to specify your wishes about how the body will be treated between the time of death and burial or cremation. Link to the Farewell form: [...]