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Do you need a will before you turn 45?

SURANA & SURANA > Legal Buzz  > Do you need a will before you turn 45?

Do you need a will before you turn 45?

Do you need a will before you turn 45

Wills have always been an uncomfortable subject in India. The general perception is that a will has to be drafted only when a person is in the later stages of his/her life. Wills can be drafted by anyone who is above 21 years of age.

What is a will?

A will is a legal declaration of the intention of a Testator with respect to his property which he desires to be carried out after his death. In India a will can be made on plain paper. It is not legally necessary to make the will on stamp paper. A will can be written by hand as it facilitates handwriting verification later. The will has to be attested by two witnesses, who have to be present together along with the  Testator when he signs the will and attest the will after he signs it. The Testator can change his earlier will by executing a new will. The new will be considered as the last will of the Testator. It is not mandatory to register a will. Even if an earlier will is registered and the latter will is not registered, the latter and last will prevail and is legally valid. A Will has to be probated if the Testator is within the Chartered Cities of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.

Laws of inheritance and succession are complicated and diverse in nature, and are different in the case of Hindus and Muslims.

Pros of having a Will:

  • Saves family from legal disputes
  • Better estate planning
  • There is a clear distinction between ‘nominee’ and ‘legal heir’.
  • Enables you to choose a legal guardian for children and pets.
  • Leaves instructions for your digital assets
  • Easier to formulate a will while one is alive.

Cons of not having a Will:

  • According to Indian Law, a nominee does not become the beneficial owner after the owner’s death.
  • The ancestral property will be divided and distributed according to that person’s religion.

Though the concept of drawing up a will is an uncomfortable subject to tackle, the pros outweigh the cons.

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