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When Widowed, Are In-laws In Or Out ?

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by Hopikrishnan, Apr 14, 2021.

  1. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Platinum IL'ite

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    :worship2:
    Oh... my... repeated several times, after I read your post several times.
    It is not easy to give away money without facing unwelcome repercussions. Although many estate planning websites advise on giving-away-the-money ($15K a year, per person in 2020) to reduce the estate to go below the Federal estate tax limit, this kind of giving to people would require one to have good people to give to.

    When I learn more about this case, I will try to post here after removing any identifying pointers about specific private informations.
     
  2. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks for the help, and advice.
    I feel I ought to give a skeletal backstory.

    My deceased friend came from Andhra P. to go to grad school in USA. I don't remember which IIT he had been to for his UG. He met his wife at the university; she was an undergraduate student. Her parents (Gujarati) had immigrated to USA via UK, but were originally from some African country -- Kenya, I think. It may Tanzania or even Seychelles, I am not sure.

    Anyhow, her ability to speak any Indian language is pretty weak. And besides, she does not quite like India (after a couple of post-marriage visit there to see "relatives"). Her parents are in USA, and most of her relatives are outside of India - in Africa, UK, and USA. Her children feel pretty much the same way as she does about India. It is very unlikely that any of them are going to sustain any links to that country. In this scenario, I am quite sure that they would want to get rid of that property connection (~ < 2 crores in value) as quickly as feasible.

    The long-term prognosis for interpersonal relationships with ex-in-laws is quite dismal, unless the in-laws show enormous eagerness to help the American family in disposing of the property, and transferring the inheritance proceeds to whatever designated Gujarati nonprofits the American family has named.
     
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  3. yellowmango

    yellowmango IL Hall of Fame

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    The younger widow should just gift the house to the Indian family and call it quits as they are unlikely to keep any relations.

    There is very little chance of getting noc from the in laws.
    As long as the mil is alive, she has a right to live in the house. 20% or 1%, the house cannot be sold or transferred without her signature on the relevant papers.She is unlikely to sign the noc .

    After her, the siblings will also become part heirs to the mother's share of the property. It becomes more complicated to get the noc from everyone.

    The younger widow should either gift it ....or wait as long as mil is alive. After that, they can check about going to court for division of property.

    If they don't need the money and want to pass it to some non profit org....then they are looking for a lot of legal fees and long legal battle.
    It would be advisable to gift it to the mil if they don't want it otherwise.

    Frankly speaking....if they want to donate it to non profit, it seems pretty hypocritical to want to take it from the Indian family . Unless there is some deep hurt and revenge seeking, it does not make sense.
     
  4. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Platinum IL'ite

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    The American family understands that it is not easy to send money from India to USA, while it is easy to send the otherway. The thoughts of donating it in India is the option they were given.

    Yes... "call it quits" is the thing to do; but giving it away to the ex-In-laws ? Apparently the ex-in-laws had made it difficult for the American widow to gift them the property. I am not sure about all that had happened between the two parties.

    At the moment it looks like ... the MIL & her heirs could have a Mexican stand-off with the American family.
    Such an international affair, African-indian-americans in a mexican standoff with Telugus... that would be.
    Mexican standoff - Wikipedia
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
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  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    One way to check how greedy MIL is, to have a conversation with her and ask her to sign a legal document acknowledging that the Indian property that she lives in belongs to her deceased son, she has an unrestricted right to enjoy the property during her lifetime and after her demise, the property will devolve to the widow of her son. The mother enjoyed the property for many years and also received living expenses from her son for all these years and she owes it to the spouse of the deceased to give the house back morally. If MIL is thinking to inherit the property on her own and give it to her other adult children after her life, it is an indication of betraying the widow and her children. If MIL doesn't agree to execute this document, she should get no more financial support from the widow of her son, and the widowed spouse should immediately proceed to the Indian court to probate the property in India. Delaying these matters will yield the worst possible repercussions unless she voluntarily decides to gift the house to her MIL.

    Regarding estate tax deductions in the US, there is no filing requirement unless one has $11 million or more in inheritance. Why bother about deductions to justify the payment to the MIL? The decision should be driven by how the relationship is reworked by MIL failing which, the widow should proceed with stopping funds going to India monthly and also initiate probate action in the near future. The courts will find it hard to handle property disputes if a number of years pass after the demise of the lawful owner of the property.
     
  6. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks for your analysis.
    Unfortunately "conversations" are not feasible, because there are no common languages to carry that out between the two factions. The deceased son is indeed the owner of the property, as it is registered in his name...at whatever local property registration office, and his widow has proof of that in documents she has given to her India based lawyer.
    I got an update only recently. Apparently the probate has been initiated, Power of Attorney given to a local law firm to carry that out. Hopefully the American family would be free of that link -- something that they want -- and move on with their lives.
     
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  7. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    @Hopikrishnan,

    The widow should ensure there is no general power of attorney issued by her husband in favor of her MIL. The possession also creates life interest in some states like Maharashtra.
     
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  8. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Platinum IL'ite

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    Wouldn't all PoA authorizations evaporate on the death of the one granting the PoA ? In the USA that is the rule.... when the grantor (also called principal) expires, the PoA expires also. [FYI: @mangaii, @KashmirFlower ]
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021
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  9. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Platinum IL'ite

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    Dispose versus Discard question was raised elsewhere...
     

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