‘Will of Property or Assets’
Category : Estate Planning
What is a “Will”
As per Section 2(h) of Indian Succession Act,1925, ” A Will is a legal declaration of the intentions of the Testator in relation to his property, which he desires to be carried out and comes into effect after his death”.
A Will is a legal document that ensures that the intentions or wishes of an individual with respect to his assets are followed after his demise imperatively.
The absence of a Will or or the invalidity of a Will very often generates problems for the legal heirs and successors.An individual who has some property is definitely concerned about his property after his death.Therefore, there comes the benefits of having a Will. A Will which is an important document ensures that any individual can properly leave his property whoever he choose after his death.This way he makes sure that his wishes regarding his assets & properties are followed after his death.Problems may arise when a person dies without a will or intestate.
Features of a Will
- A Will is a legal declaration. Certain formalities must be complied with to make a valid Will. It must be duly signed and attested as required by the law;
- The primary nature of a Will is that it comes into effect after the death of the testator.Testator means a person who dies after making a Will;
- As per Section 62 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, a Will is liable to be revoked or altered by its maker at any time during the lifetime of the testator, obviously when he is in a competent position to dispose of his assets by Will;
- Lastly, there must be some property which is being given to others after the death of the testator.
Types of Will
All types are discussed below for ease understanding not going into deep.
- Conditional & Contingent Will: This becomes effective only after occurrence of a contingent event or incident or condition;
- Joint Will: Wills written or made by two or more persons jointly .But executes the Will in individual capacity separately;
- Mutual or Reciprocal Will: When two or more persons make a Will whereby they confer their properties to each other.Such will may be revoked by any of the testators during their joint lives with prior notice to other testator;
- Duplicate Will:A testator sometimes may execute a will in duplicate.One he keeps with him and the other one with a safe custody in a Bank or with a Trustee.However, both the copies must be duly signed and attested.If the testator destroys the copy retained with him it will be treated as revocation of both the Wills;
- Concurrent Will: Generally a testator makes one Will at a time.But sometimes for his own convenience he can make two different Wills for different properties for different geographical locations;
- Holograph Will: A holograph Will is a Will that is completely hand written of the testator.This is considered to be one of the best form of Will due to its hand written nature and enhanced authenticity;
Having a proper Will enjoys some great advantages too. They are discussed below concisely.
- A testator can nominate a person as his executor to represent him legally and to fulfill his wishes regarding his assets;
- A testator can protect his family’s financial position after his demise and may also provide his funeral instructions for the family he leaves behind;
- The testator can specify the distribution of his estate including donations to charities & gifts to friends and close family;
- A Will can also minimize the taxes on estate and also for the beneficiaries;
- A Will can avoid high administration cost and finally can provide the testator a great peace of mind.