More than 39 per cent of the elderly in Delhi-NCR faced harassment, mistreatment and bad behaviour by their children either on their decision to make a will or if their wards found it was not in their favour, according to a new study.
The study was conducted during the first week of November by the Agewell Research and Advocacy Centre and 55 volunteers in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) interacted with 500 elderly.
Of the 500 respondents, 298 said they have made a will, 132 said they are planning to make one and the rest said they would not make one, it said.
The study said 39.1 per cent or 168 out of 430 — 298 already having a will and 132 planning to make a will — respondents said they faced harassment, mistreatment and bad behaviour.
It also found that according to 31.2 per cent of the respondents (134 of the 430), their children started ignoring or avoiding them when they found that wills were not in their favour or on their decision to make one.
However, 28.1 per cent of the elderly respondents claimed they saw no change in their children’s attitude even after they found that wills were not in their favour.
The study said that according to 306 out of the 500 (61.2 per cent), insecurity or property-related disputes determine to a great extent the decision of making a will.
According to feedback received during the survey, around 43 per cent (184) of the 430 respondents admitted that they have consulted or they will consult their children while making a will.
“Majority of the respondents (around 57 per cent that is 246) reportedly claimed that neither they consulted their children nor they are going to take their advice for making a will,” the study said.
On the need to make a will, “it was found that 60 per cent of elderly respondents that is 258 out of the 430 (already having a will — 298 + planning to write a will — 132) said that they want to avoid familial fights and legal disputes in the future. These were the primary factors that stirred them to make a will, according to the respondents”, it said.
The study found that about 21.2 per cent of the respondents (91 out of the 430) said ensuring the wellbeing of their dependent children and beloved ones was their primary concern. Fifty-three respondents (12.3 per cent) claimed that they want peace of mind in their old age and that is why they opted to make a will or are planning to have a will, it said.
The study said around 4.9 per cent or 21 out of the 430 respondents said that they made a will or decided to make a will, primarily to disinherit family members from their properties.
It recommended that because of a longer life span, limited income in old age, and increasing cost of living, older people should make a will as soon as possible in their life.
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