What is a Will?

A will allows you to communicate how your assets are to be distributed among those close to you after your death. The Will Format ensures that your belongings do not devolve as per the laws of inheritance (which vary for each major religion) but as per your wishes. Its creation is frequently postponed, but it’s a good practice to have one in place and then keep updating it when necessary. When you make a will online, it needs to contain a declaration that it is being made free from any pressure, the details of your property, and who will inherit it. It need not be registered, but we would suggest you do so at the office of the sub-registrar.

Important Terminologies of a Will

  • Intestate: If a person dies without making a will, he/sher is said to have died ‘Intestate’
  • Codicil: Codicil is an amendment or change made in an original will. (Section 2(b) and Section 62 of the Indian Succession Act)
  • Executor: The executor is the person who will be in charge of distributing an estate, as per the will.
  • Probate: It means the copy of a will certified under the seal of a court of competent jurisdiction with a grant of administration to the estate of the testator.
  • Testator: The person who prepares the will and signs his or her name.
  • Bequest: A bequest is defined as leaving property to someone.

What are the Benefits of Making a Will?

Certain benefits of make a will India are as follows-

Eases Transition: When you make a will in your lifetime, it brings in order about how your assets will be handled after your death. At such a difficult time for your loved ones, this would significantly alleviate some of their burdens.

Enables Choice: In case of an intestate death (without a will), your assets would devolve as per the relevant provisions of the Indian Succession Act of 1925 or any other Act permissible to the religion of the person, which may not be as per your wishes. A will format is where you can state exactly how you want your assets to devolve.

Reduces legal hassles: Civil cases of lengthy nature can invite huge legal expenses, effort, and time for a family. Having a will in place can facilitate timely settlement/transfer of the property of the deceased and can save the family from costly legal tangles or property disputes.

What are the Conditions to be Satisfied while Drafting a Will?

The following conditions must be satisfied while drafting a will or make a will India-

  • The first condition for making a valid will format is that it must be in written form. The law also requires the words in the will to be clear and intelligible
  • As per section 63 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, the creator (testator) of the will format must sign/affix his or her mark on the will.
  • The signature /mark of the creator ( or the signee on his behalf) must be placed in such a way so that it discloses clear intention of the creator to give effect to what is written in the will
  • Section 63 also specifies that 2 or more witnesses should attest to the will. They must have seen the testator (or his authorized signatory) sign/ affix his or her mark on the will. But, a beneficiary of the will should not be included among the witnesses.

What is the Process of Registering a Will in India?

As mentioned in the Registrations Act, registration of a Will format is carried out at the Office of the Sub-Registrar of the State Government. Specified stamp duty is levied on every registration. After the will format is drafted, the testator, accompanied by the witness (es) visits the Registrar to carry out the official formalities. After execution, the registered will is kept in the safe custody of a lawyer or a banker. The registrars also have the authority to hold deposited wills. The testator or any individual authorized by him can deposit a sealed will to the registrar.

FAQs on Drafting and Registering a will

What is the format of a will?

There is no prescribed form of a will. In order for it to be effective, it needs to be properly signed and attested. It must be initialed by the testator at the end of every page and next to any correction and alteration.

What is will Registration?

The registration of a document provides evidence that the proper parties had appeared before the registering officers and the latter had attested the same after ascertaining their identity. In India, the registration of wills is not compulsory even if it relates to immovable property. The non-registration of a will does not lead to any inference against the genuineness of a will.

What is the procedure for Registration of a will?

A will is to be registered with the registrar/sub-registrar with a nominal registration fee. The testator must be personally present at the registrar’s office along with witnesses.

Is there any Stamp Duty to be Paid?

No stamp duty is required to be paid for executing a Will or a codicil. A will, therefore, need not be made on stamp paper.