Writing a will? All you need to know about writing a will in India

Don’t get it wrong while writing a will so that your successors get their due when you are gone

Are you planning to write your will

What is a will?

It is a legal indenture wherein you state your instructions regarding the apportionment of your property after your demise among your beneficiaries. In case the beneficiaries are minors, guardians are appointed. Writing a will is a simple task, yet a crucial one as the writer would not be physically present to explain the intentions of their distributions to their loved ones.

Why do you need to write a will?

If you are yet to write your will, your dear ones will be at a loss in understanding your estate’s division in the event of your sudden demise. It is only an assumption that your wealth and belongings will directly be inherited by your loved ones after your death. Without a will, your beneficiaries will inherit various troubles rather than benefits. They may need to fight long legal battles in the court of law with other kith and kin who may see it as a chance to have a share of your property. This, in turn, may drain away a lot of funds of your family members. Most of us may not know how to write a will. To end your doubts, 

Here’s how to write a will in India:

Related: 8 Scenarios When You Need To Consider Revising Your Will

What is valid for a will?

You may feel emotional about your loved ones and would like to include every bit of your possessions to be given to your spouse, children, parents and any extended family. But there are specific assets to consider while finalising how to write a will. Such as:

  1. Moveable assets such as stocks, cash, bonds, mutual funds, etc., with their constantly changing value over the period until your demise.
  2. Immoveable assets such as home, land, other real estate and tangible assets, whose value grows evenly over time.
  3. Assets that hold sentimental value such as jewellery, family heirlooms, expensive belongings, etc. 
  4. Guardianship of minor children and pets. It should be thoroughly discussed with the ones whose name you want to put as a guardian, and ensure if they are comfortable about the same.
  5. Any kind of business ownership. Even if you want your business to be dissolved, state it clearly in your will to avoid any confusion later.
  6. Liabilities need to be subtracted from the total asset value while writing a will in India, or anywhere else for that matter. Liabilities will inevitably lessen the value of assets.

Related: Estate Planning: 10 Things To Do Before You Die

By following these steps, you can write your own legal will without much need for any legal advice.

While writing a will, you shouldn’t consider items like survivor’s pension as its beneficiary is already decided. You also cannot assign beneficiaries for jointly owned property or assets under a trust. Your life insurance policies may also have a pre-decided nominee. Lastly, also avoid making multiple wills to avoid confusion. If you want detailed guidance on how to write up a will, read our premium article - Creating And Executing A Will During The Pandemic: A Legal Perspective.


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