Published Article Details

Three steps to understanding 'complex' finance

Posted by: Uma Shashikant on Mar 26, 2018, 06.30 AM IST

The thought of managing money bewilders Parvati. She depended on her husband, a chartered accountant, about money matters. However, he passed away unexpectedly. She had been secure in the knowledge that he was managing their investments, taxes and accounts efficiently. Their children lived abroad and were too unfamiliar with the Indian financial system to be of help to her. This is the story of how she reined things in.

After the initial period of mourning, Parvati was faced with the task of managing the money her husband had left behind. She decided that she would get familiar with what was there before she asked for help. She was not comfortable with handing over all the documents to a third person to read, scrutinise and interpret for her. She found files and papers in her husband's office and on reading his tax returns and the audited accounts attached to them she was able to arrive at a list of investments and wealth. 

For someone who only had a working knowledge of English and no exposure to finance, the details were tough to figure. But she was determined to use the Internet to educate herself about each line in those documents and the terms that she had to figure. She read extensively on personal finance and made notes. There was enough money in the bank and as easily accessible bank deposits to take care of her expenses. Her children were more than willing to back her up where needed.

She divided her tasks into three bins. The first one represented what she needed to claim and receive. The second one represented what she needed to hold and organise. The third was what she needed to clear and dispose. 

She met with the LLP members of the CA firm where her husband was a partner. She asked for his share to be liquidated and returned to his estate. She was fortunate that the relationship between partners was cordial, and they were happy to settle the dues from the firm quickly. She put up claims with the insurance companies and took the trouble of reading through the insurance documents and the claim documents to ensure she knew what she was getting. She hired a retired employee of an insurance company for a fixed fee and worked with him to get the insurance dues paid and paperwork completed.

This article appeared in Economic Times dated Mar 26, 2018, 06.30 AM IST

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