Planning on writing a will? Here are some tips that will certainly help.
No matter how disturbing it is to think about something as morbid as writing your will, you have to do it one day or another. Since it happens to be one of the most critical things in life, it should not be postponed any further, especially if you are already in your late 30s. If you still think it’s too depressing to think about certain things, like what will happen to your property after you’re gone, for example, well, think again!
Writing a crystal clear will not only help you distribute your stuff among your heirs according to your liking, it will also give you peace of mind. Once you have the assurance that you’ve done justice to your heirs and secured their financial futures as far as you possibly can, you will be at peace.
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Okay! Enough of the sad stuff. Let’s get into the technical part now. How do you actually go about writing a will? More importantly, if you are a woman, do the rules change for you? What do you need to know about your legal heirs? We know. These are a lot of questions, but we promise to answer them all for you.
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Let’s start by taking a look at some crucial things you need to keep in mind while writing your will. These apply to both men and women. Later on, we can get into the specifics for women.
Writing a will is one of the most powerful money moves you’ll ever make. Here’s how to make the most of it.
Do You Need Help?
While some people might be perfectly comfortable in taking matters in their own hands and writing their wills, some might need some help. No matter which category you belong to, there are ways to deal with both. If you know everything about the basics of writing a will and how to balance various factors involved, you’re all set. You don’t even need to go through the rest of this article. But if you belong to the latter category that might need some help, don’t worry! There are experts that can take you through all the necessary steps.
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One thing that you might want to consider is that getting an expert opinion on your will is a wise decision. It’ll help avoid unnecessary errors in the will.
Who Are Your Beneficiaries?
All your belongings, your property, bank balance etc. is eventually going to go to someone. You just need to choose them wisely. You might want to think this through and even speak to an attorney about your choices.
Who Is The Executor For Your Will?
We know the first thing that comes to mind after reading this is—who is an executor? An executor is someone who has been assigned the task of ensuring that everything takes place in accordance with what you have entered in the will. Since an executor of a will plays a crucial role, you might want to choose someone who honours your wishes, is responsible and would do anything to ensure everything happens as per your wishes. Whether you need to pay them or not depends on your relationship with the person. According to experts, paying your executor is a better decision.
Who’s The Guardian For Your Kids?
According to experts, you must keep at least three guardians in mind, in order of preference. While choosing them, ensure they are people you’d want to trust the future of your kids with.
How Are You Planning To Distribute Stuff?
Instead of being unsure and sounding vague in your will, ensure you clearly mention every tiny detail. This will certainly avoid confusion and possible conflict. This becomes especially critical if you have multiple children.
Where Are You Keeping Your Will?
After working so hard on your will, you need to make sure that it’s placed somewhere safe yet approachable. After you, people should actually be able to find it. Don’t leave it up to your family members to look for it. You can either keep it with your other important papers or leave it with your attorney or someone you trust.
While these are the general steps everyone who’s planning to write a will must follow, additionally, you might also need to consult your attorney for better insight. They can help formulate a customised will according to your needs.
Additional Reading: Everything You Need To Know About Making A Will
Now let’s look at the women-centric aspects of a will.
When Can You Write A Will? Is There An Upper Limit To The Number Of Wills You Can Write?
You can draw up any number of wills in your lifetime. The only two conditions that need to be followed are that you need to be older than 18 years of age and sound of mind. It’s your choice to get it registered or not. There’s a slight difference for people who need to follow Muslim laws. They clearly state that only 1/3rd of a person’s property can be distributed according to a will. The rest of it has to be distributed as per the religious laws.
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Who Is The Legal Heir Of A Woman If She Has No Will?
When it comes to India, there’s no definite rule to decide the legal heir of a deceased in case there’s no will. This happens because every community has their own set of rules when it comes to property rights. All Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs come under The Hindu Succession Law. Christians, on the other hand, are controlled by The Indian Successions Act and Parsis, Muslims and Jews fall under their own personal laws. The general practice is that the property of a deceased person who doesn’t have a will directly go to their legal heirs.
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How To Get A Legal Heir Certificate?
Nobody can just claim to be anyone’s legal heir. To make that happen, you need to get a legal heir certificate from the Tahsildar’s (local revenue officer’s) office.
What Are The Uses Of A Legal Heir Certificate?
You can use the legal heir’s certificate to transfer immovable properties (PF, pension or gratuity payments, insurance claims, land, house etc.). For transferring other assets like Mutual Funds and shares, more documents are required.
How Do Nominations Work?
If you nominate someone while investing in different instruments, they are automatically transferred in their name in the event of your death. In case you don’t have a nominee appointed, the transfer will require a succession certificate.
To get a succession certificate, the legal heir has to file a petition in a competent court with documents supporting their claim. They also need to produce a list of investments for which the certificate is necessary. Along with this petition, they also need to pay a fee to the court. The certificate is later issued by the court after ensuring that there are no objections from any family members.
Additional Reading: All About Modifying Financial Nominations
Now that you know everything about writing a will, maybe it’s time to consider writing one. Want to save to secure your child’s financial future? Open a Fixed Deposit today!