Make a Will
A Will is a testament that declares the intention of the person as to how would he wish to dispose of the property after his demise and it is the most effective way to dispose of your property. We all are aware of the concept of Will but we don’t get into the hassles of preparing one assuming that only those who have abundance of wealth are required to prepare a Will.
However, planning your estate is pertinent to ensure that your property is transferred in a manner you deem fit. Also, this will ensure that your wealth is transferred to the people you choose and also prevent family disputes.
An assumption that you need to write a Will only if you are sick or old is as true as people die only of sickness or old age. There is no right or wrong age to prepare a Will, you should write a Will as early as possible in life.
You should consider the following things while making a Will -
1. Lawyer’s advice - The person preparing the Will should primarily decide whether he wants to draft the Will on his own or consult a lawyer. You can prepare a Will on your own as well but it is advisable that you consult a lawyer so as to avoid any technical or legal glitches at a later stage.
2. Prepare a list of your assets - You should prepare a list of all the assets. You can only dispose of self-acquired assets and not ancestral assets. Classify your assets into movable or immovable and assets situated in the home country or foreign country. You assign these assets to the people you want. In case, the assets are held jointly then the only divided share or interest in such property can be bequeathed.
3. Provide your complete information - While making the Will you must provide a complete information with respect to your name, age, address as appearing on the permanent account number (PAN) or your Aadhaar card. You must also mention full name and details of the persons you want to confer your property upon.
4. Appoint an Executor - You must also appoint an executor in your Will. An executor is a person who administers and divides your estate as per your Will. The executor should execute the Will as per the legal formalities and the wishes of the testator.
5. Outstanding debt and liabilities - While making a Will you must consider if you have any debt obligations or not. In case of any outstanding liabilities, you must clearly provide a provision to repay the liabilities out of assets prior to the distribution of assets to the beneficiary.
6. Doctor’s Certificate - To ensure that nobody challenges the Will on the ground that the testator was not medically fit it is pertinent that you obtain a certificate from a doctor stating that you were of sound mind and was able to understand and comprehend what you wrote.
7. Keep the Will in safe custody - Just writing a Will is not enough you need to keep it in safe custody and ensure proper execution. It is advisable that you should register your Will to ensure it is kept in safe custody of the registrar and cannot ordinarily be tampered with, destroyed, lost or stolen.
Registration of Will
Registering a Will ensures that there is a definitive legal backing to the Will in case of possible disputes which may arise in future. After preparing a Will, you can register a Will anytime and there is no stipulated time within which you are expected to register the Will.
You are required to register the Will before the sub-registrar or the Registrar of the district court under whose jurisdiction the major part of the property is situated.
No stamp duty is applicable on registration of Will and also there is no compulsion that a Will needs to be registered.
If you get your Will registered and wish to make alterations to it, it will be difficult. Any subsequent Will also needs to be registered. A subsequent statement is known as a codicil in legal language.