4 Simple Steps to Create a Will
Who will keep your assets and properties which you have acquired over your lifetime after you are gone! What is the law relating to will and testaments in India? What does will legally mean in India? What are the laws governing wills in India? What does a will contain? When is the right time to create a will? Should we wait for old age to strike our doors? How to create an online will? What is e-will? Doubts regarding registration of will in India? Is registration of will compulsory? How can I write my will myself in India?
A detailed article dealing with the drafting of a will in India.
What is will?
A will is the intention of the person (testator) and his plans of what he wants to do with the property which he had acquired throughout his life.
Making a Will can be a simple procedure if the assets are few and ownership is clear. You can even write it out by hand. Various formats of Wills are available online; you could see a few and treat that as a starting point.
- Know what you own
Many things can come under your assets. “One way to start off is to distinguish between financial assets and others, because financial assets have nominees, and a Will can override that”. First make a note of what you own, which will roughly be things you have bought with your own income, or your share in an asset. “All assets that a person owns should ideally be included. Shares, bank lockers, bank accounts, PF (Provident Fund) details, insurance policies? even digital assets”
Another reason to have a comprehensive Will is that there is little paper trail for financial assets, and without proper details, family members will not have clear access. Mention details of all assets. “For example, for jewellery, make a list, support with description, photos and state location”. For a house, mention correct size and address; for securities, mention the fund house, folio number, and demat account details.
2. Who will be the beneficiaries?
The next step of the process is to figure out the beneficiaries. This will have an impact on the Will’s wording. For instance, if you want your spouse to be the sole or the major beneficiary, and your children after him or her, the Will can be conditional. So, it would mention that, say, the house goes to the spouse and on his or her demise, to the children or according to the spouse’s instructions in his or her Will. Or, you may want your minor child to inherit assets only after she is a major (18 years of age). In these cases, a condition is attached.
Give ample thought to who the beneficiaries will be to avoid disputes later. “At least for self-acquired properties, you may want to give them to your dear and near ones to avoid issues at a future date or post your demise. In a peculiar case, a daughter (Hindu) whose mother had died leaving behind assets, did not include her step-father in respect of her mother’s estate, causing a dispute. Consult a legal expert if a large estate is being considered or can be disputed”
One convenient way of making a Will on your own is to make it online. EzeeWill.com, HDFC Securities-eWill, WillJini.com, and some others provide these services.
You can register, pay and make the Will using one of the available formats, or you can seek further assistance. Costs vary accordingly. For example, with EzeeWill.com, the charges are Rs4,000-60,000. With WillJini.com, the prices range from Rs1,500 to Rs20,000.
“The cost of making a Will offline depends on the qualification of the person; so it could be Rs3,000 and even Rs3 lakh”.
4. Procedural requirements
Whether you make a Will online or offline, some rules are common like for a Will to be valid, it has to be signed by two witnesses. “The key is to make the Will comprehensive and clearly worded. A registered Will can also be contested”.
Appoint an executor, whose responsibility will be to ensure instructions are carried out.
Else consult your Financial Consultant or Legal Counselor to know more about Will writing.
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