The need for a WILL to be written
We all get old and it is important that we leave behind the best of what we acquired to our loved ones as per our own wish. This facilitates the easy disbursement of one's posessions and properties to one's loved ones and dependants, so that there will be no legal battles among them. Precisely for this reason it is advisable that everyone with some property or wealth should prepare a "WILL".
A WILL is a legal statement written by an individual, stating the manner in which his or her wealth may be distributed after his or her demise. It is always better to consult an advocate before preparing a will and it would be better if the advocate is a person on whom you have the utmost confidence.
Guidelines for preparing a WILL in simple terms:
Write it when you are young and able. As and when events or changes in the family necessitate changes the will can be changed. It also avoids legal battles at later stages.
It can be hand written in ink but preferably should be typed.
A will must always be dated. If more than one will is made then the one having the latest date will nullify all other wills. In fact it would be better to make a statement nullifying all other wills.
It does not require any Stamp Paper & and it need not be Registered.
A will should be simple, precise and clear. Otherwise there may be problems for the legal heirs.
There should be an Executor of the will who would be entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that the assets are distributed according to the provisions of the will. Sometimes more than one Executor may be required to execute the will. The Testator (person making the will) should take the prior consent of the person whom he or she wishes to name as the Executor.
The Executor or Beneficiary cannot attest the will as a witness.
The Executor of the will can also be named as a beneficiary and vice versa.
Sign each page of the will, so that nobody can substitute a page later on, nor can anybody argue about fraudulent insertion of a page subsequently.
The will may be kept in a safe place like a bank vault. The Executor and the beneficiaries should be informed where the will is kept. It is advisable to keep a signed copy of the will with a trusted advocate. Duplicate copies of the will may be made, signed by the Testator and the Witnesses and kept at separate places so that if one is misplaced the other may be used.
Keep reviewing your will regularly, say once a year. It may need amending to take care of changes in your financial or family circumstances.
Sometimes the value of certain items of the assets (example: value of share certificates) may fluctuate. In such a situation, it is better to mention the percentage of such item/s which should go to each beneficiary.
On the demise of the spouse, the surviving spouse needs to revise his/her will.
If there are too many changes in the will, it is better to prepare an entirely new will.
It is not compulsory for one to register a will with the Registering Authority, but in case any property or asset is given to any charitable organisation, then registration should be done.
For assets held and owned outside India, it is recommended that you write a separate will.
The will should name a guardian for minor children and mentally incapacitated beneficiaries who are of unsound mind or are otherwise disabled, while giving complete personal details of the proposed guardian;
In case of a visually challenged person, he or she can make a will, provided a sworn affidavit is made by one of the witnesses, confirming the same.
It is advisable to obtain a certificate, confirming on the mental capacity of the testator to make a will, from a doctor (with his / her registration number and educational qualification / degree) attending to the testator should be affixed to the will.
A person's will becomes operative only after his or her demise. There is no restriction in the way a person can deal with his or her property even after writing the will.
Make sure that proper provision is made in case of the beneficiary or any of the beneficiaries dies first;
The Indian Succession Act, 1925;
The Indian Registration Act, 1908.
Hindu Personal Laws;
Muslim Personal Laws;
Some of the Legal terms to be familiar with:
TESTATOR– is the person making a will.
EXECUTOR- The person named in a will, and appointed by the probate court after the will-maker’s death, to wind up the affairs of a deceased person.
BEQUEATH - To leave property at one’s death
BEQUEST- A gift of an item of personal property made at death. Does not include real estate.
GRANTOR or SETTLOR- The one who creates a trust; a settlor
TRUSTEE- Someone who has legal authority over the assets in a trust.
CODICIL – It is an instrument made in relation to a will, explaining, altering or adding to its dispositions and is deemed to be a part of the will.
PROBATE- It is a copy of the will, certified under the seal of a competent Court.
All of the above information and content are suggestive only and in no way substitute the formal legal procedures.
Get started and get your will done right now.
SoulPrints helps you write your will in the simplest way. All you need to do is to register yourself, fill in and mail us your data as directed by the questionnaire, make payment online, receive the draft for preparation, give us your OK. The final legal will will reach you in no time.
Start writing your will. (Drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Writing a Will)