Death is uncertain. Making a will to pass on your legacy is important even if you are still walking towards financial independence, and more so because assets are not automatically passed on to a spouse. Children and relatives can also stake claim to a property.
A will ensures that your children and relatives do not fight over your property. If you die without making a will, your family will have to follow certain ‘laws of succession’ in deciding how to split your assets.
Making a will is simple and does not require stamp duty, registration or lawyers, although experts advice that a will must be registered before the sub-registrar of the concerned district to ensure it is in safe custody.
Here is what is needed for a will.
- The person making the will should mention that he is executing the will as a title holder for the assets he has. It can be handwritten or typewritten.
- The will can be written by the one who is bequeathing his assets or by others, but the signature must be by the
- The will has to be signed in the presence of two competent witnesses above the age of 18 and sound of mind. Make sure that the witnesses are not older than you to avoid that person dying before you.
Sudhir Kumar, Managing Partner, India International Jurists, said the will should clearly state that the title-holder is writing it out of his own volition in a sound state of mind, and mention that there are witnesses and they have read the will.
“The will should then state assets like jewellery, bank deposits, insurance policies, shares, real estate and other property and state whether they are self acquired or not and the names of people to whom they should go to,” added Kumar.
A will is important because no ancestral property can be assigned to any person. All rights on inherited property are acquired by birth. Children and grandchildren can stake their claim.
Having a nominee for assets is not enough. Indian laws say a nominee is a trustee and caretaker and not necessarily the beneficiary of a will. Experts advise that a nominee – such as a wife – must be clearly named as the beneficiary.
It is simple and easy