Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

No restriction on executor of Will also being a beneficiary under it

It is possible to name a person the executor of a Will and also bequeath some assets to her under the Will

I want to name a cousin as the executor of my Will, but also leave some of my assets to her. Can a Will’s executor be a beneficiary as well? What is the better course to follow in terms of choosing an executor?

—Name withheld on request

I have assumed that you are a Hindu. The provisions of the Indian Succession Act, 1925 would apply to the disposition of assets by a Hindu through a will (testamentary succession). As per the provisions of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, there is no restriction on an executor of a Will also being a beneficiary under that Will. In fact, the Indian Succession Act, 1925 contemplates bequests to an executor of a Will and Section 141 provides that if a legacy is bequeathed to a person who is named as an executor of the Will, he shall not take the legacy unless he proves the Will or otherwise manifests an intention to act as an executor.

Therefore, it is possible for you to name your cousin as the executor of your Will and also bequeath some of your assets to her under your Will, if you so desire.

I would like my son, who is a minor, to get money from my life insurance policy. He is already the nominee. Should I appoint a guardian? How should I include this in my Will?

—Rajnish Gupta

A policyholder can nominate a minor as his/her nominee to receive the proceeds of the policy upon the death of the policyholder. As per Rule 32 of the Insurance Rules 1939, the policyholder may appoint another person who, in case of the policyholder’s death, will receive the money on the minor’s behalf. Such appointment should be communicated to the insurer by forwarding the documents relating to such appointment which should be endorsed by the appointee to show his/her consent. Such appointment in order to be effectual should be incorporated in the policy text or endorsed on the policy. The person appointed to receive the proceeds on behalf of your minor child should be a major and competent to contract.

You should also cover this in your Will—that you are bequeathing the proceeds of the policy to your child (who you have nominated under the policy to receive the proceeds) and also specify the person whom you have appointed to receive such proceeds from the insurer (following your death), on behalf of your minor child.

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Marylou Bilawala is partner, Wadia Ghandy & Co. Advocates, Solicitors and Notaries.

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