Don't leave on your "last journey" without preparation ...
by Retd. Prof. Mr. Durgesh Kumar Srivastava
(New Delhi, India)
Recently, I had the sad experience of participating in the condolence meeting held near my house. A neighbor's younger brother had died suddenly at the age of 56 after a brain stroke. He had gone up to the roof top of his house for an after-dinner stroll. He had fainted, was taken to a hospital, where brain surgery was performed. He died without regaining consciousness.
His wife had eloped with her boyfriend 25 years ago. She had taken away his (my neighbor's) two biological kids. He did not make any attempt to trace her or bring her back. After about 5 years, he himself brought home a widow who had 2 kids of her own. They started living together without getting married. There was no legal step to dissolve the first marriage or obtain divorce. The man did not change the legal nomination to his bank accounts, provident fund or the small house that he owned. The name of the original wife continued to exist as his successor.
Towards the end of the condolence meeting, a group of people came along with his first (original) wife. They wanted to perform the last rites saying that the lady was the rightful successor.
The live-in partner and her kids had no paper, no documents to show that they had any rights in the assets of the deceased man. The matter is likely to be taken to a Court of Law.
One must never leave things undone. One never knows when one may have to proceed on the last journey.