How to prepare a Will

A Will should be specific with clear instructions and to the point

January 21, 2014 11:56 IST | India Infoline News Service

The subject, “How to prepare a Will” is quite exhaustive and each Will is a special and separate document. However, some tips are being given to draft a Will.

Will can be written on plain paper, preferably typed double space, and witnessed by two persons (Should be younger & reliable).A beneficiary cannot be a witness.

  1. It is never too early to write & register a Will. Age is not the consideration. If you have spouse & children & wish to save them from legal hassles, write & register a Will. Save them from harassment at MCD/DDA/Banks/Insurance/post office & greedy relatives.
  2. Consult spouse while making a Will. Women suffer most if there is no Will. Please remember that a widow is respected if she has money in her name.
  3. Do not neglect the daughters. They have equal rights in parental property. Son is a son until he gets married. Daughter is a daughter forever.
  4. Write names of all legal heirs in Will with their age/D.O.B. If you are not giving share to any legal heir, out of yourself made property, mention specific reasons for doing so. If you are bequeathing property to your wife, mention it clearly.
  5. Give full details of immovable & moveable property. Mentioning all property is not desirable & sufficient.
  6. Through a Will, one can bequeath one’s property, present as well as future. It is called a residuary clause.
  7. Spouses must be trained to understand the basics of financial knowledge. Otherwise, they suffer immensely after the husband passes away.
  8. Keep your Will and other documents safely along with details of your other assets. Your wife or close relatives should be informed about the location. There are instances, where spouse & relatives spend months /years searching & listing assets. Do not part with your original/photocopies of the Will & any other documents.
  9. If necessary, Will can be updated periodically. A registered Will can be superseded only by another registered Will.
  10. A Will should be specific with clear instructions and to the point.
  11. Generally, all movable & immovable property is first bequeathed to spouse .It can be mentioned that on spouse's demise, distribution, as defined shall be in favour of sons/daughters. One can mention if spouse has right to sell or not to sell the property. It is desirable to have a clearly articulated Will & succession plan.

Lastly, as mentioned in my previous article, get your Will & spouce's Will registered.

Insist that videography may be done while registering the Will in the sub registrars office. Very few people bother to get their Wills registered, leaving a trail of legal fights & acrimonious relationships. If you love your wife, please register your Will & Will it in her favour. Remember death comes at any age & that too without any warning in most of the cases.

Will should preferably be drafted by a well-trained person or a legal person suiting your specific desires. Do not try to save a few thousand rupees & leave a legacy of legal battles costing lacs.

(With inputs from N. Ahuja, M.A. LLB)

Read more:

All about Wills

Estate planning through living trust

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