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How to register a will in India, format of will, how to make a will of property, online will registration in India, How to execute a will in india 2020, Stamp duty on will, type of wills
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Will in India

In India at least, 'will planning' is hardly seen as a part of financial planning. But before knowing benefits of a will planning, let us first know what it actually is.

A will in India, is a legal document by which a person leave his wishes about what should happen to his properties after his/her death.

A will in India, sometimes called a “last will and testament,” is a document that states his final wishes. It is read by a county court after his death, and the court makes sure that his final wishes are carried out.

Types of Wills in India

There are 4 types of wills in India:

1. Simple will in India: A simple will distributed property of a testator.

2. Testamentary will in India: A testamentary trust will sets up one or more trusts for the distribution of part or all of one’s estate at the time of death. 

3 Joint will India: A joint will is one that 2 people make together, each leaving all of their property and assets to the other. A joint will also stipulates how the assets will be distributed when the second person dies.

4 Living will in India: A living will is a document that allows you to state what type of medical treatment you want to be used if you want to be used if you be too ill or injured to communicate your wishes. It may also be referred to as an advance directive or a declaration

Importance of a Will Planning in India

Will planning is important in India, because a clear & well-written will helps in avoiding future dispute in relation to his/ her property. When one person makes a Will in India, as per his/her own desire he/she can decide which property should be given to whom. So which assets should be given to his/her wife, husband, children or parents is totally decided by the person who is making the Will. All these requirements are met only when the Will has been drafted accordingly.

What is Will format in India

There is no prescribed format for a will in India. All will must meet certain general requirements:
1. You must be 18 years of age or an emancipated minor.

2. You must be of sound mind:
a) Know what a will is and what it does;
b) Understand the relationship between you and your current family members;
c) Know what property you own;
d) Understand who the people are to whom you are leaving your belongings.

3. You must expressly state that this document is your will.

4. You must sign and date the will.

5. You must have the will signed (attested) by at least two witnesses. It must be initialed by the testator at the end of each page and next to any correction/ alteration

6. You must have substantive provisions that:
a) Nominate a legal guardian for any minor children;
b) List who inherits specific items;
c) State what happens to remaining property not mentioned in the will.

7. You must appoint an executor who will be:
a) Responsible for supervising the distribution of property;
b) Responsible for paying all of your debts and taxes

8. A will cannot operate while the person who is making it is alive. It comes into operation after his death.

Registration of a Will in India

Registration of a will is not compulsory in India. But a registration gives legal validity to the document. If one wants one's will to be registered, one has to visit the nearest sub-registrar's office along with witness, who will help in registering the will with a nominal registration fees.

Stamp duty on will in India

No stamp duty is required to be paid for executing a will. A will can be executed on a plain paper. No stamp paper is require for a will.

How to write a will in India

Step 1

Value your Assets
For making a will first step is to evaluate your entries Assets & Liabilities.

Assets may include:
  • Home/ any other property you own
  • Savings in Bank, Fixed Deposits etc
  • Investment in Bonds, Shares, debenture etc
  • Investment in Insurance policy
  • Pension funds that include a lump sum payment on death
  • Motor vehicles
  • Jewelry, antiques and other
  • Furniture and other household contents
Debts may include:
  • Tax Liabilities
  • Loans / overdraft from banks or others
  • Credit card balance
Note: Get your assets valued regularly because the value of them can change over time.

Step 2

Decide how you want to divide your Assets & Liabilities. You should make sure that it’s absolutely clear what you want to happen to your whole Assets. Think about:
  • Who you want to benefit from your will
  • Whether you wish to give any specific gifts to particular people
  • Where the residue of the Assets is to go (any property or money left over after paying funeral and other expenses)
  • What you want to happen if any of your beneficiaries should die before you

Step 3

You may decide to leave a donation to a NGO
If you plan to leave a gift to a NGO in your will, make sure you include the NGO full name, address and registered charity number. Incorrect information may mean your chosen NGO doesn't receive the gift.

Step 4

Choose your executors
Executors are the people who deal with distributing your Assets after you've died. Being an executor can involve a lot of work and responsibility, so consider the people you appoint carefully.

Find out more about the role of an executor

Step 5

Write your will in India
You can do this in a number of ways.

Lawyers: It’s usually best to get advice from a lawyer (for example, a solicitor or chartered legal executive). You may wish to speak to a lawyer who specialises in wills and probate (applying for the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions). Check they are licensed with the relevant professional body, such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority or Law Society.

Professional will writers: Professional will writers aren’t qualified solicitors and may not be regulated. If you decide to use one, first check whether they are a member of the Institute of Professional

Will writers: All Indian taxation will help you in making your will

Banks: Some banks offer will-writing services and advice about Assets planning. Contact your local branch to book an appointment with an adviser to find out what they can offer. Some banks charge high fees for will write service.

Make your own will: You can make your own will but you must make sure that it’s valid. A will is a legal document so it needs to be written and signed correctly. If you decide to make your own will, it’s best to seek advice from any consultant first.

Step 6

Sign your will
You must sign your will in the presence of witnesses. You must have the will signed (attested) by at least two witnesses. It must be initialed by the testator at the end of each page and next to any correction/ alteration

Step 7

Safe custody of will

There is a provision for the safe custody of a will in the Indian Registration Act, 2018. The sealed cover containing the will and superscribed with the name of testator or his agent may be deposited with registrar for safe custody.

If you do not want safe custody, leave your will with a solicitor, bank, safely stored at home.

You must let your executors know where your will is kept. Don’t attach any documents to the will with paperclips or staples – if they detach and leave marks it will raise questions about whether the will is missing any parts or amendments.

How do I make sure my will is valid?

For a will to be valid:
1. You must be 18 years of age or an emancipated minor.

2. You must be of sound mind:
a) Know what a will is and what it does; 
b) Understand the relationship between you and your current family members; 
c) Know what property you own; 
d) Understand who the people are to whom you are leaving your belongings. 

3. You must expressly state that this document is your will.

4. You must sign and date the will.

5. You must have the will signed (attested) by at least two witnesses. It must be initialed by the testator at the end of each page and next to any correction/ alteration

6. You must have substantive provisions that: a) Nominate a legal guardian for any minor children; b) List who inherits specific items; c) State what happens to remaining property not mentioned in the will.

7. You must appoint an executor who will be: a) Responsible for supervising the distribution of property; b) Responsible for paying all of your debts and taxes 

8. A will cannot operate while the person who is making it is alive. It comes into operation after his death.

How do I update my will in India?

You should review your will every 3-5 years and after any major change in your life such as a new grandchild / child / child-in-law or moving house. Never make alterations on the original document.

If you want to do a minor amendment to your will, you can add a supplement, known as a codicil. This must be signed and witnessed in the same way as the will, although the witnesses don’t have to be the same as the original ones.

If anything substantial needs to be changed, you should make a new will and cancel your old one.

Do I have to change my will if I get remarried or divorced?

If you marry, remarry, this cancels a previously existing will. Divorce doesn’t automatically invalidate a will made during the marriage, but does exclude your ex-spouse from benefiting if they are mentioned in the will. Arrange a new will if you marry, separate or divorce.

What happens if I don't make a will in India?

If you don’t make a will, you will die ‘intestate’ and your Assets may not go to the people you want. There are special rules for how your Assets or Liabilities will be distributed these are called intestacy rules.

If you have a spouse and children, your spouse will inherit all your personal possessions. Your children will then be entitled to the other half of the balance.

If you have a spouse but don’t have children your spouse will inherit your whole estate, including your personal possessions.

If you and your partner aren’t married or in a civil partnership and you haven’t made a will, they have no automatic right to inherit from your Assets. This applies even if you've lived together for a long time or have children together.

If you have children and your spouse or partner is deceased your children will inherit everything, divided Assets equally between them.

If you don’t have a partner or children then parents, brothers, sisters, and nieces and nephews may inherit your Assets.

Final Word

We hope this article helped you to know about "How to register a will in India, format of will, how to make a will of property, online will registration in India, How to execute a will in India 2020, Stamp duty on will, type of wills". Should you wish to know more about will or any tax-related matters, feel free to contact us and we will be glad to assist you.


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