Thursday, October 21, 2021
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INHERITANCE – MORE THAN PROPERTY

Inheritance is used to co-relate two or more classes to each other.

 When we talk of inheritance, we generally refer to dynastic wealth.

As we know the term generally refers to inheritance of property from one generation to another. This practice is being followed since times immoral in all sections of society, be it Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Hindu or other.

We perhaps forget that apart from property that we inherit at the time of death of testator, we also inherit several things that we forget to keep account. May be, we loose sight of such inherited wealth.

 The first among such wealth is the goodwill and reputation that the testator has built over the period of his life. A will would never find such clause as to who would inherit the goodwill and reputation.

 Political circles, however, are aware of this precious term and they would declare their political inheritance during their life time itself.

 This term is not restricted to political system alone. Each and every individual during his lifetime earns a reputation and goodwill for him and his family, but would rarely pass this valuable asset to his descendants.

 The term ‘heir’ has no existence until the person owns the property is dead. The question of heirship soon thereafter arises as to inherit the shares. Each heir would set up a claim for dynastic wealth.

 However, in that process everyone in the line of descendants forget to set up a claim for goodwill and reputation of deceased as an asset devolving in him exclusively.

 Suppose a person own a business and he has earned good reputation and goodwill over the years. After his death, the business venture would go to its descendants with the reputation and goodwill that the deceased has earned over the years and as such the business would run in continuity accordingly.

 We are now talking a bit differently not about the business, but reputation and goodwill that the deceased has earned over the years as a human being. During the life tenure a man meets several persons and help them at times. help them solve their problems; be it domestic, personal or otherwise. People promise him that they would stand by him as and when he would call them up.

 It takes decades to reach a particular position. The position attained by a person over the period of time by his personal pursuits usually goes west on the death of the person. The legacy is seldom claimed by any heir. Such legacy is more precious than the property earned by the deceased. At the time, when inheritance opens, the factor of goodwill also needs to be discussed and decided. It has been observed over a period of times that usually families disintegrate on the death of deceased and they unknowingly loose the precious asset of personal goodwill.

 The inheritance is a wider term to include in itself, not only the property, but titles, debts, rights and obligations as well , whereas the practice of succession is restricted to private property only and for the other aspects like debt and obligations only the law of the land takes care.

 Research has shown that many inheritances, large or small, are rapidly squandered.  Similarly, analysis shows that over two-thirds of high-wealth families lose their wealth within two generations, and almost 80% of high-wealth parents feel the next generation is not financially responsible enough to handle inheritance.

 This all is so because at the time of distribution of dynastic wealth, we forget to allocate the precious assets called ‘goodwill’ earned by the deceased. It is such an asset which not only can help generations to preserve the dynastic wealth, but grow it to bigger size. It is some sort of cultural capital i.e. Linguistic styles, higher status, social circles and aesthetic preferences.

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