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The legal declaration of the intention of the testator(owner of the assets before death), with respect to his property, which he desires to be carried into effect after his death. A legal will is a document that ensures your wishes with respect to your assets and property are followed after your death.
A Will is a legal document that allows you to specify the name of the person who should benefit from your property, money and possessions after you’ve died. It’s very important that the wording used in your Will is clear and legally effective.
• Save time, money, stress for your loved once.
• Determination of the person who will manage your states.
• Reduces the chances of disputes among the family members.
Most of the people get confused between nomination & will. Generally people think that if they have nominee for all their investment then they don’t need will. We would like to clear in simple words that nomination is a right to receive & hold the assets & fund whereas Will is right to own the assets & funds. Will super-cede not only nomination but Indian Succession Act like Hindu Succession Act.
Example: Mr A has a life insurance cover & he made his brother as nominee for his life insurance policy now unfortunately Mr A died & in his will he expressed his willing to pass benefits of insurance to his wife (legal heir). Now nominee will receive the funds but will not able to use as he is trustee of funds not the owner. So in this case his wife is the owner of funds.
Now a question might arise that if we have a will then there is no need of nomination?
So here is a clarification in two step:
• Nomination ensures smooth transfer of funds from bank & financial institutions to the nominee of deceased person’s account.
• Wills ensure smooth transfer of funds to the legal heir as per his desire.
Points to remember
1. It is advisable to avail nomination facility for all financial investment including savings accounts, fixed deposits, mutual funds, etc..
2. Make your Will as soon as possible and you can change the name of the beneficiary as many times as you want.
3. To avoid legal disputes in future, a will plays an important role to clarify the owner of the Funds/assets.
How to write a Will
STEP 1: Firstly, all essential information (name, address, pan, assets/funds) of a will as mentioned needs to be adhered to.
STEP 2: It is advisable to consult a professional before drafting the will. A will can either be drawn by the testator himself or through his lawyer/professional.
STEP 3: A will is executed by ensuring the signature of the testator in the presence of the two witnesses and their signatures as well.
STEP 4: It would be beneficial if a will is registered and properly stamped as it helps in ensuring proper execution.
Wills can be made at any time in the life of a person. There is no restriction on how many times a Will can be made by a testator. However, only the last Will made before his death is enforceable. A Will has to be executed by the testator, by signing or affixing his thumb impression on it. It should be attested by two or more witnesses, each of whom should have seen the testator signing the Will.
1) What will happen if I don’t have will?
When one dies without writing a Will all your properties, assets, wealth is distributed as per Succession Laws applicable to your religion/personal law, like The Hindu Succession Act etc. You must know that such succession laws have defined fixed proportion to be distributed to all/several family members which may not be as per your wishes. There could be chances of delay in distribution of properties and may lead to legal cases, disputes amongst family members etc.
2) Who can make a will?
Any person above the age of 18 years can make a Will with sound mind, i.e., capable of understanding his actions and is free from any undue influences.
3) Why should not wait till old age to make a will?
The world is full of uncertainty where untimely death is so easy to happen, so if you have attain the age of 18 make your will of your assets/funds so that distribution of your property made as per your desire.
4) How to make a will?
Will can be handwritten or typed, however typed Will is preferred on a plain paper as Stamp paper or stamp duty payment is exempted in India for a Will document. A Will can be in any language which is suitable to the person who has made the Will. A Will should cover details of your family, your properties/assets, your liabilities, your wishes, your property distribution wishes, names of two witnesses, date and place of signing, sign of the person who has made the Will and both the witnesses on each page.
5) Is it possible to make an oral will?
Oral wills might have worked when many people were illiterate, but not today. These days, a written and signed will is necessary. The idea is that if someone suddenly becomes ill or in extreme danger, and can't make a written will, his or her last wishes will be honoured. If someone dies without leaving a valid written will, witnesses who heard the deceased person's last wishes about his or her property may come forward and claim that the person made a valid oral will. It's an uphill battle, however, to prove that a deceased person's last words constitute a legally binding will.
6) What is the rule for the witness of will?
for witnesses to read the content of the Will, they are just to confirm that the Will was signed in their presence. As per the law, witnesses can be called by courts in the event of any question on legality/authenticity of the Will. Nowadays, it is also advisable to do a video recording while the Will is being signed and clip can be kept in a safe manner along with the original Will so that it can be legal evidence, if required to prove legality of the Will.
7) Can a will be changed in the future for addition or deletion or a new will can be made?
Yes, a person can change its will from time to time if he wants to change or he can make a new will but the only requirement is that he should clarify in his amended will that all previous will are void or cancelled.
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