Thursday, 28 August 2014

Signs of Parkinson's Disease

 8 Early Signs of Parkinson's Disease

Degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's represent
 some of the largest challenges facing medical researchers today.
 These diseases not only rob us of control over our own bodies, 
but slowly sap our mental capabilities as well. Like most diseases, 
however, they are best detected early on, when we can at least slow down
 the progress of the disease, hopefully until better treatments are found. 
To do this, we must be aware of the early symptoms and signs 
that point to Parkinson's.
Note: Don't panic if you have one or more of these symptoms, 
as they can be related to other issues. However, to stay on 
the safe side, if you think there is even a small chance 
you are showing early signs, please get tested, if only 
for your own peace of mind. If you do have it and 
you catch it early, the prognosis will be much better for you.
Here are 8 early symptoms of the onset of Parkinson's disease.

1. A change in handwriting
If a person's handwriting starts to go from big and free to 
small and cramped, this may well be an early sign of 
Parkinson's. The telling signs are letters that get smaller a
nd words that seem crowded together with letters almost 
written on each other. Many patients also take longer to 
write and have trouble with repetitive tasks.

2. A reduced sense of smell
If someone is suddenly having trouble smelling pungent
foods or picking up on scents, they should go see a doctor. 
Most times it has to do with sinuses, and it's definitely 
not one of the most obvious signs of Parkinson's, but 
doctors say patients with Parkinson's claim it is the 
earliest sign they had of the disease. While studies 
haven't proven the link between the symptom and the 
disease, a working theory is that certain proteins form 
clumps in the brain and may form in the olfactory area, 

reducing our sense of smell.
sense of smell
3. Trouble sleeping
Another symptom that can be easily ignored because 
it's so common, is the sudden inability to sleep well, 
even if you're usually a sound sleeper. Suddenly you 
toss and turn, your limbs move and twitch during sleep, 
or you may even wake up on the floor, having fallen 
from bed. Ask your significant other if you are making 
a lot of movements at night, and go see a doctor if it persists. 

4. A quieter, softer voice or an expressionless face
A softer voice and a masked face are common signs of 
Parkinson's. Some will not notice they are speaking 
at a softer tone, and they definitely won't notice their 
face losing expression, so it is up to the people 
around them to be aware of these signs. Speaking 
too rapidly or stammering a lot is also a symptom. 
expressionless face
5. Depression
Obviously many patients develop depression after 
learning they have Parkinson's, but there is a 
physical link between the deterioration that 
comes with Parkinson's and depression. Some patients 
get depressed years before the other symptoms of the 
disease appear. Lower-than-normal secretions of serotonin 
and dopamine, the neurotransmitters invovled with many 
bodily functions as well as mood, can cause this effect.

6. Constipation
If you find that you've seriously reduced the number 
of times you move your bowels, sometimes even skipping 
a day - that's not a good sign, even if it's not Parkinson's, 
and so you should check it out. The disease has an effect 
on the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible 
for unconscious processes such as digestion and bowel function. 
Constipation on its own is usually nothing to worry about, 
but if it comes with some of the other symptoms on 
this list - go get checked immediately.  

7. Shaking or having tremors while perfectly relaxed
Shaking is perfectly normal under certain circumstances. 
We may be excited or anxious, have just finished a 
workout or are feeling restless. But small shakes in our 
fingers, our hands, our chin, lip of full limbs while we're at 
rest could be a strong sign of Parkinson's, according to 
the National Parkinson Foundation. This symptom appears 
in about 70% of patients and can become more noticeable 
during stress or excitement. This symptom usually arrives 
AFTER the other symptoms on this list though. However, 
many a time it is the first one truly noticed, as the 
others can all have other explanations. 


8. Stiffness and slowness of movement
Stiffness in the joints that doesn't go away, coupled with 
muscle weakness that's here to stay can spell bad news. 
Suddenly everyday tasks like buttoning your shirt, 
walking or fixing things around the house become 
bothersome and difficult. You stop swinging your arms 
as you walk and your legs and feet feel heavy and 'stuck 
to the floor'. If you start hesitating before taking 
steps, or people are commenting that you look stiff 
or sore - please see a doctor.


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

From Times of India 27 August 2014

Just Click on this picture and you will get an enlarged version

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Nominee and Will

Article received from Dr. Surendra S. Paranis
For all of us to know about - NOMINEE AND "WILL"

 Will your Nominee get the money on your death ?

 Did you think that your nominee is the person, who will get all the money legally from your Life Insurance Policy and Mutual funds investments? Ha! That is exactly what you think if you are not aware of the legal aspects. We assume a lot of things which sounds like they are obvious, but are not true from the legal point of view. Today, we all concentrate on nominations in financial products.

For whom are we earning? For whom are we investing? Who, do we want to leave all our wealth to, in case something happens to us? It might be your children, your spouse, parents, siblings etc., or just a subset of these. You also might want to exclude some people from your list of beneficiaries!. So you think you will nominate person X in your Insurance policy, and when you are dead and gone, all the money goes to person X and he/she becomes the sole owner? You are wrong, dude ! It does not work that way. Let us see how it actually does!

What is a nominee ?

According to law, a nominee is a trustee not the owner of the assets. In other words, he is only a caretaker of your assets. The nominee will only hold your money/asset as a trustee and will be legally bound to transfer it to the legal heirs. For most investments, a legal heir is entitled to the deceased’s assets. For instance, Section 39 of the Insurance Act says the appointed nominee will be paid, though he may not be the legal heir. The nominee, in turn, is supposed to hold the proceeds in trust and the legal heir can claim the money.

A legal heir will be the one whose is mentioned in the will. However, if a will is not made, then the legal heirs of the assets are decided according to the succession laws, where the structure is predefined on who gets how much. For example, if a man during his lifetime executes a will. In the will, he mentions his wife and children as legal heirs, then after his death, his wife and children are the legal owners of his assets. It is essential that one needs to execute a will. It is the ultimate source of truth and replaces the succession law. Nominee can also be one of the legal heirs.


      Mention the Full Name, Address, age, relationship to yourself of the nominee.

     Do not write the nomination in favour of wife and children as a class. Give their specific names and particulars existing at that moment.

     If the nominee is a minor, appoint a person who is a major as an appointee giving his full name, age, address and relationship to the nominee.

 Why is the concept of nominee ?

 So you might be wondering, if the nominee does not become the sole owner, why does such a concept of a nominee exist at all? It  is pretty simple. When you die, you want to make sure that the Insurance company, Mutual fund or your shares should at least get out of the companies and go to someone you trust, and who can further help, in process of passing it to your legal heirs.

Otherwise, if a person dies and has not nominated anyone, your legal heirs will have to go through the process of producing all kind of certificates like death certificates, proof of relation etc., not to mention that the whole process is really cumbersome! (For each legal entity! The insurance company, the mutual funds, for the shares, for the real estate..) . So, to simplify, if a nominee exists, these hassles do not happen, since the company is bound to transfer all your money or assets to the nominee. The company the goes out of scene & then, it is between nominee and legal heirs.

Example of Nomination

Ajay was 58 years old who died recently in an accident. As his children were settled, he wanted to make sure that his wife is the sole owner of all the monetary assets. This includes his insurance policy and mutual funds. So during his lifetime, he nominated his wife as a nominee in his term insurance policy and mutual funds investments. However, after Ajay’s death things did not turn up the way he wanted. The reason being Ajay did not leave a will. Though his wife was the nominee in all his movable assets, as per the law, his wife, along with children, were the legal heirs and all of them had equal right to Ajay’s assets.

One simple step which could have saved the situation was that Ajay should have made a will which clearly stated that only his wife was entitled to get all the money and not his children.

 Nomination in Life Insurance

 A policyholder can appoint multiple nominees and can also specify their shares in the policy proceeds. Nomination in life insurance has one limitation, as insurance policies are bought to secure your financial dependents, your first choice of nominee has to be your family members. In case you want to nominate a non-family member like a friend or third party, you will have to show/PROVE the insurance company that there is some insurable interest for the person. This happens because of a Clause called PRINCIPAL OF INSURABLE INTEREST in insurance. Note that provision of nomination in life insurance is related to Section 39 of the Insurance Act.

Note that as per LIC website –
 Nomination is a right conferred on the holder of a Policy of Life Assurance on his own life to appoint a person/s to receive policy moneys in the event of the policy becoming a claim by the assured’s death. The Nominee does not get any other benefit except to receive the policy moneys on the death of the Life Assured. A nomination may be changed or cancelled by the life assured whenever he likes without the consent of the Nominee.

Make sure, you have a nominee for your policy for easy settlement of the claim, if you do not have any nominee mentioned in the policy, it can turn out to be a disaster for your dependents to get a claim.

Nomination in Mutual funds

In case of mutual funds, you can nominate up to three people, who can be registered at the time of purchasing the units. While filling in the application form, there is a provision to fill in the nomination details. Even a minor can be a nominee, provided the guardian is specified in the nomination form. You can also change nomination later by filling up a form which is available on the mutual fund company website. Nomination in mutual funds is at folio level and all units in the folio will be transferred to the nominee(s). If an investor makes a further investment in the same folio, the nomination is applicable to the new units also. A non-resident Indian can be a nominee, subject to the exchange control regulations in force from time to time.
Nomination in Shares

Quiz for you . Now you know what a nominee means and who actually gets the money. So if there is a husband H, with wife W and nephew N, and he has nominated his nephew N to be the nominee of his shares in demat account, who will have the legal right to own the shares after husband’s death? If you answer is wife, you are wrong in this case! In case of stocks, it does not work the usual way, if a will does not exist.

 In the verdict, Justice Roshan Dalvi struck down a petition filed by Harsha Nitin Kokate, who was seeking permission to sell some shares held by her late husband. The Court noted that as she was not the nominee, she had no ownership rights over the shares. Ms Kokate’s lawyer had argued that as she was the heir of her husband who had died intestate (without a will), she should have ownership rights of the shares, and be able to do anything with them as she wished. In this case, Ms Kokate’s husband had nominated his nephew in favour of the shares. Justice Dalvi however noted that under the provisions of the Companies Act and the
> A reading of Section 109(A) of the Companies Act and 9.11 of the Depositories Act makes it abundantly clear that the intent of the nomination is to vest the property in the shares which includes the ownership rights there under in the nominee upon nomination validly made as per the procedure prescribed, as has been done in this case.

 It means that if you have not written a will, anyone who has been nominated by you for your shares will be the ultimate owner of those stocks, The succession laws on inheritance will not be applicable but in case, you have made a will, that will be the source of truth.

Nomination in PPF

 Let me give you some shock first. If you have Rs 10 lakh in your public provident fund (PPF) account and you have not nominated anyone for your PPF account, your legal heirs will get maximum of Rs1 lakh only! Yes, it is so important to have a nominee, now you get it . You can nominate one or more persons as nominee in PPF. Form F can be used to change or cancel a nomination for PPF. Also note that you cannot nominate anyone if you open an account for a minor.

Nomination in Saving/Current/FD/RD Account in Banks

FD’s also come with nomination facility. While opening a new account, there is a column for nomination in the same form and you should fill it. You can nominate two persons with first and second option. Note that in case you have not done any nomination till now, you should request Form No DA-1 from your Bank which is used to assign a nominee in future. (Examples of ICICI Bank , HDFC Bank , Canara Bank) . In the same way to change/cancel the nomination you need to fill up Form no DA-2. Read about Corporate Fixed Deposits

As per a famous case, A Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha in an order said that the money lying deposited in the account of the original depositor should be distributed among the claimants in accordance with the Succession Act of the respective community and the nominee cannot claim any absolute right over it.

 Section 45ZA(2)(Banking Regulation Act) merely put the nominee in the shoes of the depositor after his death and clothes him with the exclusive right to receive the money lying in the account. It gives him all the rights of the depositors so far as the depositors account is concerned. But it by no stretch of imagination make the nominee the owner of the money lying in the account, the Bench observed.


 Now you know! Taking Personal finance for granted can be fatal Just investing knowledge, is not enough to have a great financial life. You also need to be well versed with basic legal aspects and make sure you carry out all due arrangement . Nomination is one important aspect you should seriously consider, when checking for the financial products you have bought or plan to buy in future.

Mistakes in Personal Finance
It’s important to make sure that your loved ones do not face legal issues and only say and think lovely thoughts about you when you are not around, rather than crib & grumble.


 We, ABC and DEF, husband and wife, resident of..... . hereby declare this as our last WILL and testament.
We got married on..... according to ...... rites. We have.... children. Particulars of our children are as under:-

 1.     GHI (son), Date of Birth.... He is currently residing at....

2.    JKL (son), Date of Birth.... He is currently residing at....
We, ABC and DEF, declare that in the eventuality of anyone of us predeceasing the other, we bequeath our property, both moveable and immoveable and of any nature whatsoever, to the survivor. He or she will have the sole ownership and rights and power of disposal.
 We hereby appoint the survivor as EXECUTOR of this will.
 Further, in the eventuality of us both dying within short span of each other or without the survivor making a WILL, we bequeath all our property, both moveable and immoveable and of any nature whatsoever, to be equally shared between our sons. For this purpose we appoint our son, GHI, as the EXECUTOR of this WILL.
In witness whereof, we ABC and DEF, have signed at ....... (place), on this ......... (date in words)   day of ....... (month in words), year 2014.

(ABC)                                                              (DEF)
 Signed by the said ABC and DEF in the presence of us, present at the same time, who in their presence and presence of each other, sign as witnesses hereto.

(MNO)                                                                        (PQR)

Monday, 25 August 2014

Are there mistakes in your Tax Returns?

From Times of India August 25, 2014
(Don't miss this article in today's Times of India)

Are you among the more than two croretaxpayers who filed their returns before 31 July? These taxpayers can rest easy because they filed by the due date. However, the dread of the taxman does not end here. It is common for taxpayers to make errors or deliberately conceal income in their returns, which could lead to notices from the tax department. Nudged by the government to enhance revenue collections, the tax authorities are on an overdrive to catch tax evaders. Not only are financial transactions being tracked, but loopholes that allowed tax evasion are also being plugged. In October 2013, the Central Board of Direct Taxes issued a new rule for claiming HRA exemption. Salaried taxpayers claiming HRA exemption were asked to report their landlord's PAN if the total rent in a year exceeded `1 lakh. Earlier, if the total rent paid was less than `15,000 a month, there was no need to submit the landlord's PAN details.Interest income
The declaration of interest income is the most common mistake taxpayers make. The interest earned on bank fixed deposits, recurring deposits and infrastructure bonds is fully taxable but many taxpayers skip mentioning it in their tax return. Some think the newly introduced exemption for bank interest makes this income tax-free. But the exemption under Section 80TTA is only for the interest on your savings bank balance. Interest from other sources, including 5-year tax saving bank FDs, is fully taxable.
The other big fallacy is the TDS. Banks deduct 10% TDS if the interest exceeds `10,000 in a year. If the income is below `10,000 and TDS has not been deducted, you have to add the interest to your total taxable income and accordingly pay tax. Even if TDS has been deducted, it does not mean that your tax liability is taken care of. If you are in the 20-30% tax bracket, you are required to pay more tax on the income.Don't think you can get away by concealing this income. “Failure to report this is tantamount to concealment of income. The tax authorities can easily detect it as the bank has already deducted the TDS and reported the same along with your PAN details,“ says Kirit Sanghvi, senior partner, K S Sanghvi & Co. Also, in case of recurring deposits, no TDS is deducted, irrespective of the quantum of the interest, but the interest income is still fully taxable. Similarly, the interest earned on NSCs and infrastructure bonds is taxable.
Some taxpayers feel safe from the prying eyes of the taxman if they put money in coperative banks. Till now, interest from fixed deposits in cooperative banks was exempt from TDS. However, there is a rude shock waiting for such taxpayers this year. The Karnataka Income Tax Tribunal recently ruled that if the interest exceeded `10,000 in a year, it must be subjected to TDS. Following this, several cooperative banks have received notices from the IT department asking them to deduct tax for the year 2013-14.
Even the interest from tax-free instruments, such as the PPF and tax-free bonds, has to be reported in your return. However, this is not a serious transgression and the taxman won't come after you.
Clubbing income of minor child, spouse
Your earning is not the only income you need to declare. If you invested in the name of your minor child or gave money to your spouse for investing, the income from such investments will also be treated as your income. Any income of a minor child (below 18 years) is clubbed with the income of the parent who earns more. There is a tiny deduction of `1,500 per child for up to two children in a year. Similarly, if you have invested in your spouse's name, the income will be treated as your income and taxed at the applicable rate. If you bought a house in your wife's name and rented it out, the rent will be treated as your income, not hers, even if the house is transferred to the wife as gift. “The entire income would have to be included in the tax working of the original holder of the asset,“ says Kuldip Kumar, executive director, PwC.
In rare cases, where the spouse is given a remuneration for working in the taxpayer's business, the money given to the spouse will not get clubbed. For instance, if your chartered accountant wife maintains the accounts of your business and you pay her a remuneration which she invests, the income will not be clubbed. But she should have the required qualifications to do the work she is being paid for. “The onus is squarely on the taxpayer. You should be able to prove that your spouse is hired in a professional capacity, not otherwise,“ says Sandeep Shanbhag, director, Wonderland Consultants.
Not filing tax return
This is another common mistake. Many taxpayers believe that since their salary is subject to TDS, they don't have to file returns. That's not true. If your income exceeds `2 lakh, you have to file your return. Even if the tax liability is reduced to zero after deduction under Section 80C, the return has to be filed. The government has identified the category of non-filers as a key one for tapping unpaid taxes. Last year, the Income Tax Department sent 12 lakh notices for non-filing of taxes. Non-filers are not the only ones who may get such a notice. Many taxpayers file returns online but don't complete the process. For example, a taxpayer must submit the ITR V to the Centralised Processing Centre in Bangalore within 120 days of uploading his return. “Until you submit the IT return to the authorities physically and get the acknowledgment of receipt, the return is treated as invalid,“ says Kaushik.
Not spending enough
The taxman also gets suspicious if you are in vesting too much or withdrawing too little. A Mumbai-based individual was asked to explain how she was sustaining herself because her entire salary was flowing into investments. She was using the cash allowances received from her employer for her day-to-day needs and investing the entire salary that came by cheque.“The tax officer will estimate the household expenditure you are likely to incur based on your earning capacity, family size, lifestyle and number of earning members. If your bank statement does not show commensurate withdrawals for expenses, the question will arise how you are surviving on so little,“ says Manish Shah, partner, S K Parekh & Company.The taxman assumes that you have undeclared sources of income. If allowances are being used for day-to-day expenses, it means the taxpayer submitted bogus receipts to claim those allowances. “If you stay in your parents' house and stay in your parents' house and claim HRA exemption, your bank statement should be able to validate the payment of rent,“ says Kumar.
Not filing wealth tax return
Apart from income tax, you may also be liable to pay wealth tax. Most people are blissfully unaware that if they own certain assets, including jewellery, gold or silver bullion, vacant house, non-agricultural land, costly watches, luxury cars and paintings, they have to shell out wealth tax. If the aggregate value of these assets exceeds `30 lakh, they have to pay 1% of the amount by which it exceeds `30 lakh. This also includes cash worth over `50,000. “One house is exempt from wealth tax. Also, if you have rented out your second home for more than 300 days in a year, it will also be exempt,“ says Kumar. If the property is used to conduct business, then it is not included for computation of wealth tax.Any loan outstanding against the house will also be subtracted from the market value of the house. However, the valuation of these items is a tedious process. “Only government approved valuers can be approached in this regard,“ says Kaushik. Perhaps that is why tax authorities are relatively soft on implementing wealth tax provisions -wealth tax accounts for less than 0.25% of the total direct taxes collected. This doesn't mean the taxman will not go after you for not paying it. There is a stiff penalty for evading wealth tax. Incorrect declaration can invite a fine of up to 500% of the evaded tax.One can also be jailed for up to seven years if the tax due is over `1 lakh.
Reversal of Section 80C benefit
For salaried employees in the organised sector, the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) is a great way to save for retirement, but for some, it can also be the reason for a tax notice. Many people withdraw their PF when they change jobs. The monthly contribution to the EPF is eligible for deduction under Section 80C. If the balance is withdrawn within five years of joining the organisation, the entire deduction claimed in previous years will be reversed. Similarly, if you junk a life insurance policy within two years of buying, the tax benefits claimed under Section 80C will be reversed. The same holds true if you sell a house within five years. If you availed of tax benefits on the loan, all the deductions claimed in the previous years, including on principal repayment and payment of stamp duty along with registration fees, will be added to the taxable in come of the year. Since the onus of reversing the benefit and pay ing the tax for the previous years is on the taxpayer, many ple will conveniently skip mention people will conveniently skip mention ing it in their tax return. “These is sues are not likely to be picked up by the taxman in isolation,“ says Sanghavi. “But in case your return is picked up for scrutiny, the inves tigating officer may come across these facts,“ he adds.
Items received as gifts
Diamonds are a girl's best friend, but if you gift a solitaire diamond ring worth `1 lakh to your friend, she x, might end up paying a huge tax on it. Gifts from unrelated peo ple are taxable if the annual value exceeds `50,000. The gifts received from blood rela tives or on specific ocassions like marriage or under inherit ance or by will are not taxable.The specific assets for which gift The specific assets for which gift tax is applicable include cash, im movable property, such as land and buildings, and movable property, including financial assets (shares, fixed deposits), jewellery and bullion, art and antiques. Since such instances of gifting occur regularly in our lives, it is a must that one is aware of the tax implications. “Even when you are the one who is gifting money, you may come under the scanner if the recipient of the gift happens to come under scrutiny,“ cautions Sanghvi.
Our intention is not to alarm our readers. If you have missed some income in your tax return or made a mistake in calculating your tax liability, we suggest you file a revised return. You might have to shell out a small amount in tax, but you will be able to sleep easy . You can revise your return as many times as you want. However, a revised return can be filed only if you filed the original return before the 31 July deadline. Now, here's one more reason to file your tax return on time.

Follow rules while using Credit Cards

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that all transactions involving domestic credit cards must follow rules requiring additional verification, a stance that could impact companies such as Uber Technologies Inc that provide more simple app-based purchases.
The announcement on Friday comes after local taxi companies had complained that Uber was not following the two-step verification process required for credit card transactions in India, according to media reports.
All Uber payments are directly processed using the customer's stored credit card information in a simple process that bypasses any monetary exchange between drivers and users.
Although the RBI did not specifically address any company, it noted "it has come to our notice" cases in which domestic credit card transactions avoided the additional verification process by using an overseas payment system.
The RBI noted companies would have until Oct. 31 to ensure the two-step verification process was being followed, while noting that payments must be routed through a domestic bank and settled in Indian rupees.
"It is advised that entities adopting such practices leading to wilful non-adherence and violation of extant instructions should immediately put a stop to such arrangements," the RBI said in a circular.

Amazing Website for Senior Citizens

Here is an amazing initiative towards building an exclusive website for Senior Citizens in India. This website which is an interactive web-portal, is meant to be a consolidated guide for all the Senior Citizens in India. We realized that the several needs for Senior Citizens, must be available, all at One Place. Hence, this portal is an initiative in that direction. In immediate future, the data captured and made available here, shall cater to needs of Citizens within Maharashtra State. The rest of the States will be covered in a phased manner over coming months. While navigations within this portal shall help in covering various features, hereunder are noteworthy aspects of your needs which you can expect to be served. Information is classified as below:.....

Sunday, 3 August 2014

This site has been revived with effect from 1st August 2014. New posts and photographs are invited. Comments for improving this blog are also welcome.