Human life is surrounded by a fair amount of risk. Living unplanned can hurt your dependents and family members too, especially if you leave them vulnerable.
Indians today are not dependent on inherited property and wealth like they used to. Technological advancements have increased the number of individuals owning self-made businesses and assets. This makes it even more important to create a Will so that your assets and responsibilities are handed over the way you intended it to.
Why do you need a Will?
- A Will should be created by an individual with any assets at all, irrespective of their age. You may be young, you may have a loving family, you may be living as a nuclear family, you still need to look at the practical part of the need to create a will.
- Death as well as health conditions are uncertain and so are family disputes. You need to make a succession plan to avoid future disagreements in your family over wealth distribution or the custody of minor children.
- It is not advisable to gift all your assets to your children beforehand to avoid dependency. Creating a Will for handing over after you are gone is advisable.
- If you have joint assets with your spouse, for example, a house, you should be aware that in the absence of a Will, your share of the property will be devolved to your surviving class 1 legal heirs. For example, if the husband dies, the wife, children as well as the mother of the children are all liable for equal rights over it.
- Assigning a nominee to your assets is not enough as it may not make them the ultimate beneficial owner. Except for equity shares and company bonds, a Will supersedes nominations. So you can choose to change the succession.
- For those who wish to donate their property to a charitable institution or a non-blood related individual, it is important to have a Will as the assets will go unclaimed in case the owner does not have an heir.
Points to note before you create a Will
Here are some important points to be aware of before writing a Will:
- You can change your will any number of times. For small corrections, you can do a codicil but for major changes like change of beneficiary, you will have to redraft the Will.
- The beneficiary cannot be a witness while you sign the Will as their share may be termed void.
- You and the witness need to sign the Will in each other's presence to make it valid. Do not send ask the witness to sign it via post.
- You are not required to disclose the contents of the Will to the witnesses or your family.
- A handwritten Will is valid. A printed one is however, advisable.
- Advisably, choose an executor (the one appointed to carry out the wishes of the deceased as per the Will) who is younger than the testator (the one writing the Will).
- Power of attorney executed in favour of someone you trust is a preventive measure against your unfortunate incapacitation.
- Inform your loved ones about the existence of the Will, even if you do not wish to declare the contents of it.
How to create a Will online?
There are some online service providers to create a Will. Following are the steps to create one online:
Note: A joint will is usually not possible to be created online. Please make sure to check the service providers credentials before opting for their services.
- Register on the service provider's website with a username and password.
- Provide details of the testator, assets owned by the testators, beneficiaries (legatees).
- Review the form before submission and appoint an executor to the Will.
- Pay for the services as per the service providers fee schedule either online or offline (if the website allows it).
- A lawyer will then review the Will and send the first draft to the user. The user then reviews the Will and can suggest any changes if needed. More than two changes to the draft may require you to pay an extra fee.
- Once the draft is finalized, the Will be sent to the user.
- The Will needs to be signed in the presence of witnesses.
- Registration of the Will with the sub-registrar is advisable to make it more authentic.