Writing a will doesn’t require you to be a multi-millionaire. If you’re in the dark about how to write one correctly, here’s help. Read on.
In India, most of the people still have the misconception that only millionaires or those with an extensively long list of heirs should write a will. We spend our entire life accumulating wealth to provide financial security to our loved ones. But, do you ever think about what happens to your accumulated wealth after you are gone?
This is when the importance of writing a will comes into the picture. A will, in simple words, is a legal document to ensure that your assets are transferred to your family members without any difficulties. So, if you’re in the dark about how to write one correctly, read on.
Why you need a will:
First, and foremost, writing a will doesn’t require you to be uber-rich. Even if you have meagre assets, you should make a will the moment you have dependents. It makes sure that the final allocation of your wealth happens according to your wishes and also reduces the risk of delays, misunderstandings and disputes amongst family members.
Additional Reading: Asset Allocation 101
Anyone with a sound mind and over the age of 21 years can make a will.
Writing a Will:
Although, there is no one set format to create a will, always make sure it’s executed in accordance with the law to ensure smooth transitions of assets. You can make a will online or offline. There are a lot of online providers like EzeeWill.com, WillJini.com etc. that can simplify your job.
Start by creating a list of all your assets, including investments, retirement savings, insurance policies, real estate, collectables etc. A lot of times people include things that are not legally theirs. This happens a lot when the property is co-owned by another family member and the shares can’t be easily determined. So, if you are not sure of the ownership, it’s best to consult a legal expert.
The next step is to figure out the beneficiaries. Take out time to think who you want the beneficiaries to be to avoid any disputes later. In case you want to include a beneficiary who is different from what the law demands, make sure to mention this in your will.
Once you are satisfied with your will, appoint a trusted person as an executor who will be responsible to transfer the property to the assigned beneficiaries. If there is no executor of a will, the court will appoint one.
Lastly, for a will to be valid, make sure it has your signature or thumb impression. It also needs to be signed by two witnesses.
Just writing a will is not enough. Taking proper measures to ensure that it is safe is equally important. Getting your will registered is one way to do it. Though it’s not mandatory, it’s advisable to get it registered to ensure its safety. A registered will is kept in safe custody of the registrar and can’t be easily destroyed or stolen.
Estate: It refers to the sum of all the assets of a person, minus his liabilities.
Testator: The person who makes a will is called a testator.
Executor: The person who executes the contents of the will on the demise of the testator is called the executor. The executor is the legal representative for all purposes of the deceased person.
Witness: A Witness validates the will written and approves that the person writing the will is in sound mind.
Legatee/ Beneficiary: Legatee is a person who inherits the estate after your demise.
Probate: It is the legal process of settling the estate of a deceased person, specifically resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property under the valid Will.
As the old saying goes: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. So, if you’ve been putting off writing a will for a long time, now is the time. Oh, don’t forget to check out our investment options to boost your savings.