Death is a clear problem in the secrecy business, frets B. V. Kumar in ‘The Darker Side of Black Money’ (www.konarkpublishers.com). It is not easy to make sure that secret property gets into the right hands when the principal dies, he cautions. “Unless careful provision is made to inform heirs of the whereabouts and avenues for obtaining access to secret assets, they may well get lost. This is obvious in the case of wealth left in holes in the ground. It is less obvious in the case of other high-secrecy assets, particularly offshore, that involve tangled legal contracts, complex and potentially weak trust relationships, and numbered accounts.”
Upon death, heirs may have great difficulty tracing the assets, establishing ownership, and taking possession, the author alerts. On the other hand, as he highlights, the more care the individual takes prior to death to ensure an orderly transfer of assets, the greater is the potential threat to secrecy through enhanced transparency of the relevant relationships.