1. Dear Subra,

    Wonderfully written in a lucid language.. Keep enlightening with varied topics like this.

    Long time not met. Will love to catch over coffee sometime.

    Warm Regards as ever,


  2. Seems a little heartless in Scenario 2 – to relegate the care of a daughter ( or even a son ) to that of a nothing but a nurse !!!! I mean taking care of an elder person in one’s home involves more than that … right ?? Social life, Emotional life … everything is different .. vs that of the sibling who does not pay anything in this department. Especially if the parent is completely home bound / bed ridden!!

    Another thing I came across which a doctor told me .. was methods of treatment in the hospital.( Yes it is morbid but … something to think about ). He mentioned that they encourage senior citizens to mention in their wills if they want to go in for aggressive methods of treatment [ dialysis, ventilator, shock treatment etc ] or just supportive treatment.

    While this wish so mentioned has actually no legal standing it helps the children make a decision in the treatment. It can be over ridden by the wishes of the children. However if the elder does not want to be hooked onto machines for days on end … this line gives the children an idea of what to do if the scenario looks less than hopeful.

  3. Vidya did not get your drift..does it mean the daughter should get the Santacruz flat as a ‘favor’ for looking after her parent?

    You are talking about a ‘Living Will’ it is still not recognised in India. Moreover in a world where most people live for others the living will will be ignored. People treat their parents in hospitals also because ‘what will people think’ kinda shit. So how many people have the guts (a cousin did it) to say ‘My dad is in complete control of his senses, and I will only use homeopathy for treating his cancer – and reduce pain instead of chemo..etc.’. My uncle was 82 and lived for 3-4 months after being diagnosed for cancer. But a week before his death when I saw him..he was still cheerful and talking…NOT all kids have so much sense.

  4. I agree with the “what people will think” attitude too. The doctors/hospitals also pressurize the patient’s relatives if they consider anything other than the regular mode of aggressive treatment !

    I did not know it was called “Living Will”.

    No I did not mean the daughter ( or son for that matter ) should get the house ) as a ‘favor’ for taking care of the parent.

    I feel that both items are actually independent.

    But taking care involves so much more than just nursing. So if I were to reduce it to money shouldn’t the compensation be more than just that of mere nursing w/o it being labelled as “undue influence” ??

  5. Ok I don’t think I have mentioned what I am asking very clearly.

    In Scenario 2 – If I were the father/mother with the property I would want the daughter who took care of me to get more compensation w/o it being labelled “undue influence” !! I would most preferably not want be in that position of gratitude ( would want to be in a senior citizen home if possible ) but if I did end up in one child’s home while the other did not bother … I would want one to be compensated for more than the other !

    If I were the daughter/son who was taking care I would want more compensation. In an ideal world we would take care of parents w/o expecting benefits but we do not live in an ideal world nor do we have ideal feelings !

    If I were the other son who did not bother I would cynically want a piece of the pie simply by virtue of being related by blood.

    Can these 3 ideas be reconciled via a WILL w/o being contested in court ? Is it even possible ?

  6. Hey Vidya did I touch a raw nerve? Sorry. Of course if I am the owner of the property, I CAN decide what to do with it. If I see my kids fighting over who will look after me, I could sell the property and use the cash to move into a old people’s home and will the balance to them!

    Most important thing is to communicate. If the solution is other than just a simple 50-50 split, it is necessary to document it and convey it without any ambiguity, that is all.

    But to say ‘I looked after my parents, so I deserve the house’ will not stand in a court of law. So if one sibling went to court when there is no WRITTEN intention of the parent, this argument will not hold water.

  7. No no .. you did not touch a raw nerve. I wanted to know b’cos to me it sounded like there was no way out !!! Even with a will .. say one in which I wanted to ‘reward’ one child over another for whatever reasons … and it could be contested …. then it seemed like there would be no point in making the will anyway !!! This puzzled me.

    But your last entry clarified things for me.

  8. Hi subra and others,
    Wanted to share a interesting anecdote .A famous doctor from chennai migratred to US after having a successful carrier to live with her sons there in her old age. She wanted to pass on her wealth (her life earnings and savings) roughly some 20 lakhs (that was in 1990-91) after retaining some of it for herself.So she gave 5 lakhs to her elder daughter in law who used it to buy a diamond choker .the second daughter in law an American, bought home a nude painting with the money!

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