Planning Succession curated by CII-IWN, West Bengal

 CII-IWN, West Bengal curated an interesting Session on "Planning Succession" today to deliberate on some important topics like basic tenets of succession planning, critical necessity of succession planning in today’s scenario , methodologies of planning individual and business succession and legal framework for its execution.  In this time of pandemic, when we are asked ‘How are you?’, our answer really is full of apprehension almost suggesting ‘surviving’ as we speak, but really don’t know how the near future can be. The session discussed the technicalities of Individual Succession and Family Business Succession. A succinct presentation was given by Ms Subhashree Pani, Senior Associate, AQUILAW on the need of ownership succession planning and management succession planning showcased the details of Wills , Trusts and Probates. Mr S N Mookherjee (Gopal Mookherjee), Senior Advocate deliberating on whether registration is compulsory for wills, he said  "Wills are Registration is not compulsory under the Registration Act, a will is revocable and the successive will, will have full play irrespective of the fact that it has been registered or not." Speaking of the testamentary succession for women, Mr Mookherjee said " A change has been there in the Hindu Succession Act, which is welcome legislation. Gender neutrality is coming into play now." Mr Girish Vanvari, Founder, Transaction Square while speaking on the structure of corporate succession said "Business Planning does not depend on the age but the passion of the individual Succession planning ideally should happen below 40 years."

"It is heartbreaking to be forced to be so pessimistic and so apprehensive about our survival and living under the constant fear of mortality. All of us have lost many dear friends, loved ones and even many who we did not know but our souls cried for their sudden untimely demise leaving behind helpless families. Hence, while we are healthy in body and mind, it is incumbent upon us as parents of young children and as children of elderly parents or many times being the only earning member of the family, to ensure that in the unfortunate event of our losing our lives or becoming incapacitated, our dependents are not left uncared for, grappling with financial difficulties resulting in their living under severe constraints. Perhaps the only way to ensure that our dependents are well looked after and assisted in living life and achieving their aspirations is by planning our individual inheritance through Wills and Trusts." said Ms Sucharita Basu, Chairperson, IWN, West Bengal, Managing Partner, AQUILAW.  Moreover, in India, several business houses are primarily family owned and ultimately there are a set of individuals forming the “promoter and promoter groups” of the corporate who are responsible for the continuity and success of the corporates. It is absolutely imperative, especially, in a pandemic situation considering its social and economic reverberations, challenges for family businesses also get triggered and the first one relates to family business succession. Succession is a long process that needs to be methodically planned and executed. However, the demographic challenges and increased awareness of mortality experienced during this pandemic lead to family business succession occurring rapidly and unexpectedly. Thus, family business owners and managers will have to be ready to manage accelerated and often unplanned successions. Succession planning of business is important to preserve its value, shareholders’ and employees interests and supply chain. It should be a continuous process and should account for successions at various levels and across time-lines. 

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