Exserviceman Must Know this : Family Welfare

 We can’t escape from the reality that one day we must leave this material world. Our best effort should ensure that after demise of the pensioner, his family should get all the pensionary and other benefits smoothly. So, when we are in good health, we must educate our family members about the actions to be taken on death of the pensioner.  In this article a detailed note of these actions as suggested by the Indian Army Veterans Directorate has been described. You may read this article in hindi enabling the translator also.  

 On the occurrence of Death of a Pensioner

  1. A doctor has to confirm and certify the death. If it takes place or is confirmed in a hospital, clinic or nursing home, get the certificate from the doctor attending or in charge. If at home, get a doctor to visit, confirm death and certify. The certificate is required to be taken and presented at the funeral place as without it the body will not be allowed to be cremated/ buried. If possible, get this certificate in duplicate so that one copy is available for reference if required later.
  2. Inform close relatives and friends on telephone.
  3. Decide on the timing and venue of funeral.

4. Funeral of the PensionerPresent the original copy of the death certificate issued by Doctor at the funeral place. After cremation/burial has been performed, obtain a receipt to that effect from the person in charge at the funeral place. This is required to be produced when applying for the death certificate from the municipal / Panchayet authorities.

  1. Make a few (3 or4) copies of the receipt mentioned above for reference if required later.

How to get Death Certificate from Municipality / Gram Panchayet

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  • As soon as possible after the initial formalities are over make out an application in the prescribed form if any (to be obtained from the concerned office). Enclose the application, along with the original of the receipt from the funeral place, in an envelope addressed to the Registrar of Births and Deaths, hand it over to the concerned office and obtain a receipt. In case it is not possible to hand over the envelope to the office, send it by registered post, acknowledgement due. Ask for at least ten original signed copies of the death certificate. Please note that some recognized hospitals certifying the death as per para 1 above are also authorized to receive the application and issue the death certificate. Normally death certificate is issued in 3 to 4 days. As soon as you get it make several copies of the death certificate, about a dozen or so, as they will be required to be submitted for several purposes.

Action Relating to Service – for Record, Family Pension and other Benefits

7. As soon as possible after collecting the necessary documents such as the death certificate, take out the master folder marked ‘Action to be Taken Immediately on the Death of              ’. Take out from the folder the envelopes serially numbered 1 to— with addresses already typed / written on them. Date the letter of intimation in each envelope, fill in the blanks as indicated below and sign the letter.

  • Date and cause of death in para 1
  • Death certificate number, date and issuing authority in para2.
  • Para 4. Retiring pension- at the time of making these instructions, the retiring pension is Rs (basic) pm. If there is no further change till date, enter this amount; if there has been a subsequent revision, enter the latest figure. The PPO Corr mentioned is the latest available. If a Corr has been subsequently issued, add the reference No of the same at the end of this para and also enclose a copy of this Corr in the envelope for Dept of Sainik Welfare/ Zila Sainik Board.

8. Prepare each envelope for dispatch by enclosing the documents as mentioned against the addressee in the distribution list of the letter. If feasible, hand over the envelopes to the bank and the Dept of Sainik Welfare/ ZSB and obtain an endorsement of receipt in the master copy. Alternatively send them as well as the letters to AFGIS and Records/CDA by registered post acknowledgement due. The rest of the letters may be sent by ordinary post under certificate of posting.

  • It may take about 30 to 45 days for the addressees to take necessary action. If after 45 days the required action is not taken by any of the addressees, you may send a reminder with a copy to the Association Branch with a request for assistance to expedite action.
  • Keep a copy of any letter sent to these or any other addressees for future reference.
  • The action indicated in the specimen mainly relates to service related

requirements. You may like to make the instruction sheet more comprehensive by adding details of your investments and their disposal, your specific wishes on religious rites, disposal/donation of eyes etc, changes in the action list in the event of the spouse predeceasing you and any other instruction that you consider appropriate. Place this instruction sheet on top of all other contents of the master folder and keep the folder, suitably covered, in a safe place. In case you wish to donate your eyes or other body parts, this should be mentioned in bold letters right on top in the instruction sheet.

Explain to your spouse and other family members the purpose of the whole exercise, the details contained in the instruction sheet and the place where the master folder is kept. Make sure that they understand all the requirements and will be able to take action as necessary when the time comes. They should also know whom to approach if they are in trouble and need assistance.

Have you already done this or else do it now?Check if your pension account is joint?

Ensure spouses and your date of birth is entered correctly in the account details.

Keep ready your SPARSH user ID and Password.

Keep details of your PPO number carefully and let your spouse know about it. Write it on the passbook.

Become a member of ECHS it is to your advantage in a serious illness.

Check if you are getting correct Pension/Family pension.

The bank is bound to give you a pension slip every month please demand it and ensure bank gives you. You may download it using net banking.

JCO and below please check if you are getting increased pension from 01/07/2009.This increase is not for Widows.

If you are getting disability pension then ensure you have given the form to the bank for increase in pension. Old disability upto 49% is now 50% old 50 to 75 % is now 75% and beyond that it is 100% .The pension is also applicable to those who served with the disability and not invalidated.

Keep all your accounts and financial documents in joint name

Do not handover the original PPO and other documents to anyone .Please give only xerox copies.

Make your will and keep it safe with someone you trust. Keep your spouse informed. Amend it as and when required. A will does not need to be registered and should be signed by any two individuals who have no interest in the will.

Demand Annexure IV from your bank. They are duty bound to give it to you.

Every year in Nov ensure Life Certificate is given to the bank. This need not be signed by the branch manager of the Bank paying pension but any of the following :

A serving or pensioned person exercising the powers of a Magistrate under the criminal procedure code (Act-V of 1898).

A registrar or sub-registrar appointed under the Indian Registration Act 1908 (XVI of 1908).

A Gazetted Officer.

A Munsif.

A police officer not below the rank of Sub-Inspector incharge of Police station.

Post Master, a Departmental Sub-Post Master or an Inspector of Post Office.

Officers of the Reserve Bank of India and other PSBs in respect of pensioners drawing pension from Banks.

The head of the village Panchayat, Gram Panchayat or Head of an executive committee of a village.

Retired Commissioned Officers of the Armed Forces in respect of pension bill form IAFA-319 of Commissioned Officers, departmental Officers and Warrant Officers.

EXECUTION OF WILL

General

All Wills should be clear-cut unambiguous and precise. Please refer to AO 4/91.

  • An Executor can be a beneficiary under the Will.
  • Witnesses cannot be beneficiaries under the Will.
  • All Wills are revocable. However, in case of revoking any Will especially so a registered

Will – it should be clearly stated in the latest Will that, “All previous Wills, whether registered or

un-registered, whatsoever and wherever, stand revoked and cancelled”. This will avoid any controversies.

  • It should be noted that a registered Will takes precedence over an un-registered Will.

Hence

in case of any revocation or alteration of an earlier Will, the latest Will must be registered.

  • Probate is mandatory for immovable properties situated in West Bengal, Pondicherry, Chennai and Mumbai. The Executor of the Will has to apply for the probate in the courts concerned in these States.
  • Probate is not necessary in other States of India, especially so if the Will is a valid registered document.

Choice of an Executor

  • Execution of any Will rests with the Executor of the Will. Hence it is imperative that the executor be an honest, trustworthy and reliable person.
  • It is advisable to have a younger person in good health as an Executor, to try and ensure that he/she does not pre-decease the Testator of the Will. To avoid such an eventuality, an Alternative Executor may also be appointed in any Will.
  • It is advisable to appoint a reliable lawyer as an Executor, in case the property has to be

divided amongst different heirs, or if a Will gives only life interest to any one person and thereafter

the ownership rights vest with someone else.The Executor must know the contents of the Will and be will and be willing to execute the

Will according to the wishes of the Testator.12. The Executor must be a resident of the same town as the Testator, to enable him to execute

the concerned Will, legally and expeditiously.

Choice of WitnessesWitnesses need not know the contents of the Will, but they must be present at the time with the Testator and all of them must sign the Will in the presence of each otherBeneficiaries cannot be Witnesses to any Will.Witnesses should preferably be younger to the Testator, of sound integrity and good

financial position, to ensure that they cannot be “bought over” by any disgruntled beneficiary or relations.Witness should also be permanent residents of the same town as the Testator, so that they can easily give evidence in Court, if so required.

Contents of a WillIt is advisable Not to disclose the contents of a Will to the beneficiaries. Such disclosure

generally leads to un-necessary arguments, and harassment of the Testator.

A WORD OF CAUTION

  1. It has been observed that the tendency to treat the elderly dependents with a degree of

callousness, is becoming rampant in our society today. It is therefore advisable that the Testator of WILL makes full provisions for financial independence for self and spouse while executing a Will.

ACTION TO BE TAKEN ON DEMISE OF LIFE PARTNER

  1. In case of death due to an accident lodge an FIR at the nearest Police Station, and get their written clearance before last rites are performed.
  2. Arrange last rites even in cases of natural demise only after getting Medical Certificate of Death from a doctor. Intimate location, date and time for ‘Chautha’/Prayer meeting to all concerned preferably through an insertion in the News Paper(s).
  3. Publish Obituary in Local Paper(s).
  • Obtain Death Certificate-20 or more copies from the Municipal Authority for Registration of Births and Deaths. These are required to be submitted with all claims.
  • Forward the information with certified photocopy of the Death Certificate and relevant details of the deceased to the following: –
  • PCDA (Pension), Records Office/ AG’s Branch MP 5 (b), PS-4 and Army Officer’s Benevolent Fund/(PAO/OR)
  • AGI For life Insurance cover as applicable.
  • Bankers For family pension, FDs, Loans (if any) and Locker.
  • Station HQ Surrender Identity card of the deceased and issue of Canteen Card.
  • Clubs For transfer of membership or refund of security deposit as applicable.
  • Municipal Authority/AWHO/DDA (as applicable) For transfer of House/Apartment to single name of the surviving spouse as per the WILL of the deceased.
  • MTNL For transfer of tele connection and future billing.
  • DVB For future billing for power consumption.

(j) ITO For closing the IT file of the deceased and linking up with the Files of beneficiaries. Also applicable for wealth Tax assessment.(k) Licensing Authority For Motor Vehicles, and Personal Arms and farm Machinery – Tractors etc.

  • LIC/GIC For insurance policies covering Life, Medical, Property etc.
  • Rajya Sainik Board For issue of Ex-servicemen Widow’s Identity Card.
  • Obtain Probate of WILL if required by applying to the Distt Judge under Indian Succession Act 1925.
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