There have been instances where a person's family remains unaware of the total extent of assets accumulated by him/her. While you may think writing a will suffice the requirements of distributing your wealth as your intended it to, the effort will be worth nothing if your family never finds out that you had a written a will in the first place.
You are half way there when you complete writing your will. Here are 5 things you need to do after you are done:
1. Inform of the will's existence
Apart from the executor of the will, your family members should be aware of the fact that you have written a will and the place where you decide to keep it. There is no compulsion to reveal the contents of the will to the executor or your family members.
Informing your family ensures that the will is acted upon as they will inform the executor of your death.
2. Keep it safe
Bank lockers are a popular choice for safekeeping of the will. Alternatively, if you pick a firm as an executor, you have there is a possibility that they also provide the facility to store it.
You can also get the will registered as its ensures that even if the will is lost, there is a copy at the sub-registrar's office.
3. Make updates
You should be aware that you can update a will multiple times. This is especially important considering the residual clause in a will that states that all assets that are not mentioned in the will goes to a certain beneficiary of his/her choice. It is usually meant for small possessions like personal belongings of the testator (the person writing the will).
However, if the testator purchases any large asset like a house and forgets to mention the same on the will, the house will also be treated as residual asset and it will not go to the person or trust you intended to leave it for.
Another update would be the purpose of a certain asset. In a will one can make specifications as to what a certain asset will be used for. So if the testator has an investment made specifically to be used for his/her child's education and the need is funded by a scholarship earned, he/she can can now allocate the funds to a different purpose.
Further if the investment (like a scheme) matures and is credited into their bank account, it becomes a part of the bank balance that may have been assigned to go to a different beneficiary.
Your intentions of what you wish to do with the money can keep changing and you need to update the document accordingly.
4. Deaths and additions to family
Apart from assets, there are possibilities of changes in your family structure. New members will enter the household through marriage or birth and some may unfortunately face untimely death. In either case, you will want to make a change in the way you wanted to divide the asset to the members of the family.
There are also chances that your executor dies before you, and as a testator you have to find a replacement.
If all the executors also die as on demise of the testator, the beneficiaries will have to follow a process of Letter of Administration, that is both costly and time consuming.
Despite the fact that you have nominated someone to all your assets at the time of purchase, the will precedes those nominations. In other words, the Indian law says that directions in a will overrides nominations.
However, there have been multiple cases where the beneficiary of the will and the nominee have gone to the court of law to dispute the ownership. This is because many a times an investment may have been made when the testator was single or without a child and nominated his/her parent but the will mentions the spouse or child as the beneficiary.
It is, therefore, important to update the nominations to match with those in the will to make your decisions certain by keeping a tab of the nominations on your older investments. As mentioned before, the nominations or beneficiaries should be kept up to date with the family events to avoid disputes.