Five steps to creating and registering a Last Will & Testament
To register a Will, as per Section 59 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, the person must be of legal age and sound mind. A Will can be drawn up through a lawyer. A Will is executed by ensuring signature of testator in the presence of the two witnesses.
It would be beneficial if a Will is registered and properly stamped as it helps in ensuring proper execution. Registration of the Will happens at the office of the sub-registrar. One must submit address proof, photographs and witnesses to sign the will.
Once the Will is drafted, a witness should accompany the person to the registrar for registration. Once it’s registered, it can be kept in safe custody with a lawyer or in a bank locker. If you select a registrar to safeguard your will, put will in a sealed cover.
In case you want to revise or modify certain clauses in your Will, it can be done through Codicil, a document enlisting the amended parts of the will. It is then attested by the testator in the presence of two witnesses and kept along with the will with the registrar.
If the person whose Will is with the registrar dies, any person may apply for the opening of the cover containing that will. The registrar will only open the cover after confirming that the testator is dead. The original will remain in the registrar’s custody.
“Execution of a Will makes it easier for your family to sort everything out. It is especially important if you have children who depend on you financially, or if you want to leave something to people outside your immediate family,” says Avinash Pathak, advocate
NOTE: A Will may be revoked or altered by the owner at any time prior to his/ her death. Registration of the will is not mandatory, as under the Indian Succession Act, 1925, it’s considered to be a personal choice of the testator. However, it’s advisable to register it, if its contents are to be abided by after the person’s death.