In the past decade, a lot of Indians have migrated to the US and settled down there. For many, they are the first generations from their families to move and most of their immediate family members like parents and siblings are still in India. Now, if you are among them and you also have children, then it's a good time to sit down and think about drawing up a Will. While the reasons for drawing up a Willapply equally to everyone in the US, it gains more importance for NRIs in the US if their proposed guardians live in India. Here's why.
What a Will does
In the unlikely event that both of the child's parents would die, a guardian must be appointed if the child is under 18. A Will is needed to document the appointment of a guardian.
"In the absence of a Will or if a guardian for your children has not been nominated, someone would need to apply as guardian," explains Janet Brewer, a California based attorney. That person would need to explain why s/he is better suited to raise the child than having the child be placed in foster care in the US. "If the proposed guardian is not a US resident and would like to take the child to his home country, then he needs to show why it is in the 'best interests of the child' to be taken from the US," Brewer adds. Further, it would take time for the proposed guardian to reach the US and he/she must be prepared to stay in the US for at least 30-45 days until all legal matters are put in place.
Since this entire process can be tedious, naming a guardian in the Will ensures that the parents decide who their kids should be cared by.
State decides guardianship rules Laws relating to appointment of guardians vary from state to state. "Some states do not permit a non-US citizen or non-US resident to serve as a guardian. That makes the parents' choice of a guardian much more difficult, since their first choice might be their own parents or a sibling who resides outside of the US," says Brewer.
In such cases, parents must check the state laws and appoint the guardian accordingly.
How to draw up a Will
Making a Will by itself may not be a difficult process. You can do it yourself using online Will preparation kits. You can also get readymade forms at stores. However, as we mentioned earlier, it is important to understand guardianship laws, especially if you would like to appoint an overseas guardian. It would be best to contact an attorney to prepare your Will.
KOLKATA: NRI business has not been very encouraging this year for gold jewellery. A weak rupee coupled with high import duty and high gold premium has not only affected the domestic consumption but also made Indian jewellery less attractive to NRIs, who come to India during July-August for holidays.
On the contrary, Indian platinum and diamond-studded jewellery were a big draw among the NRIs because they prefer Indiacentric designs in diamond jewellery segment.
Haresh Soni, chairman of All India Gem & Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), said: "NRI business has not been good this year. Usually, we get good business from them when they come down to India. But the high import duty on gold has restricted NRIs to enter the market this year. They have gone to Dubai where import duty is only 1% and Indian designs are available."
However, Rajiv Popley, director of Mumbaibased Popley & Sons, said: "NRI sales were not very disappointing. There was some business in July and August. We are now delivering jewellery against orders that were placed in July and August. With rupee quoting low vis-a-vis dollar, NRIs had more disposable funds in their hands to buy jewellery."
In Kerala, which is regarded as the gold capital of the country, NRI purchase was low compared to 2012. "This was not due to gold prices going up in the Indian market but because Ramadan was advanced this year. Moreover, the Ramayana month that came in July also kept away NRIs from purchasing gold," said Amjad Hussain, marketing director, Malabar Gold.
However, sales have picked up in Kerala for Onam that kicked off on September 16. "We are pinning hopes on Onam. The next season when NRIs buy gold jewellery is November-December. The world economy is showing signs of recovery and we expect good sales during that period," Hussain added.
Interestingly, platinum and diamond-studded jewellery are a big hit among NRIs. Vijay Jain, CEO of Orra, said: "The making charge of diamond jewellery in India is much less. Therefore, NRIs find it attractive to shop from India. Above all, they like the designs that are very India-centric. From April to July, we have witnessed a same store sales growth of 40%."
The investments made by an NRI are subject to some restrictions, which also apply to the use and transfer of funds based on its source. To enable monitoring the investment activities of an NRI, the change in his status from resident investor (RI) to non-resident investor (NRI) has to be registered in the investment records and bank accounts. To begin with, he has to open a non-resident external (NRE)/ non-resident ordinary (NRO) account with the bank. The existing account should either be closed or designated as an NRO account.
On becoming an NRI, one needs to open a new depository account with the NRI status. The balance held in the demat account with 'resident' status should be transferred to the new account. The securities in this account are treated as non-repatriable.
A new trading account needs to be opened for investments made as an NRI. One can also have separate trading accounts for NRO and NRE account-linked transactions.
The changes in address and bank details have to be intimated to the mutual fund AMCs. The KYC change form needs to be sent to the KYC registration agency for change of status, address and bank details.
The NRIs can invest in the stock market only through the portfolio investment scheme (PIS). For this, they need to apply to the designated branch of any authorised dealer category-I bank.
Points to note
1.It is best to update the change of address in the PAN records through the prescribed form available online at http://tinyurl.com/2qfbov.
2. Once the investor becomes an NRI, TDS will be deducted on gains made on sale/redemption of mutual fund investments as applicable.
3. For PIS investments, if the demat account is held with another DP, fortnightly disclosures of holdings must be made to the bank operating the PIS.
A non-resident Indian (NRI) is a person who stays outside the country for a specified period of time, according to theIncome Tax Act.
2. An NRI has to open a non-resident external (NRE) account for foreign currency holdings, and a nonresident ordinary (NRO) account for rupee holdings in his bank.
3. Any balance that is held in a demat account with 'resident' status should be transferred to a new depository account with an NRI status, on a non-repatriable basis.
4. If an NRI wants to open a new equity trading account, it should be done with a broker, including separate accounts for NRO and NRE account-linked transactions.
5. An NRI can make investments in the stock market only through the portfolio investment scheme (PIS) route. For this, he needs to apply to the designated branch of an authorised dealer category-I bank.