HB - The Legal Corner Magazine #Issue 7

involvement and consultation with elders sometimes influencing decision-making.

Common Estate Planning tools

In England & Wales, estate planning is anchored by a trio of essential tools: wills, trusts, and lasting powers of attorney. Across the Indian landscape, estate planning is governed by specific laws such as the Indian Trusts Act of 1882. Trusts provide a structured approach to preserving and transferring wealth across generations. Whether private or public, trusts offer a means for high-net-worth families to safeguard their assets and cater to the needs of beneficiaries, ensuring a seamless transition of wealth aligned with familial aspirations. In Kenyan estate planning, wills again play a pivotal role in expressing individual wishes regarding asset distribution, while trusts, including traditional communal land tenure arrangements, offer avenues for preserving familial wealth and promoting communal support. There are overlaps in the estate planning tools employed across these jurisdictions. Wills stand as a universal means for expressing testamentary wishes, and trusts emerge as a common thread, offering versatility and securing familial legacies.

Exploring Probate and Estate Administration

Probate and estate administration processes ensure the orderly distribution of assets, but procedures vary across jurisdictions. In England & Wales, obtaining a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration involves several steps, accommodating complexities such as contested wills. This is not unlike the process in India, Mumbai, where the estate administration process follows a distinct set of procedures. As Sameer Tapia explains, ‘Probate, which authenticates the deceased's will, is obtained through a testamentary petition filed in court.’ This is because succession certificates are essential for inheriting movable properties. Typically, there are a number of challenges at each stage. In Kenya, the estate administration process is also initiated by surviving dependants filing a petition in court by to obtain letters of administration. Publication in the Kenya Gazette notifies the public, allowing objections within a specified period. Once granted, the administrator gains authority to manage and distribute assets, subject to court confirmation. The process aims to blend legal requirements with cultural sensitivities, with community

Amending your Will

Individuals in England & Wales can update or amend their wills by drafting a new will or making a codicil (a legal document used to make minor changes to an existing will). However, it's crucial to ensure that any updates comply with legal requirements to avoid potential challenges to the validity of the will. Limitations may arise if the testator lacks testamentary capacity or if there are suspicions of undue influence or coercion. The same type of process is required under the Indian Succession Act of 1925, whereby individuals have the option to update or amend their wills during their lifetime. This can be done by creating a new will or a codicil. To ensure validity, the new will or


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