E-Will, one of the recent fads in the financial market, where recently two big institutions have launched this service & many more are in the pipeline. I thought of writing this article on two aspects, does an individual really needs a will & more importantly how should one look at it, if it’s required?
Will, which is better known as “Vasiyat” or “Vasiyatnama” in Hindi, is no doubt an important legal document. Even though we all are governed by the succession law, as per the religion we follow, but importance of a Will is felt when there is a difference of opinion or understanding among the family members of the deceased.
As per Wikipedia: A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his or her estate and provides for the distribution of his property at death.
From layman point of view, Will is a document, written by a person, to allocate his entire wealth (property, car, money, shares, investments etc.) to his family members or anyone else, after his death. In short, Will can be a hand written letter, describing his assets &its allocation, in simple English, with two witnesses. One does not even need a lawyer to draft same.
Coming to the 1st question, do you really need a Will?
This is where family assessment plays important, where if among the family members there is a dispute or difference of opinionor it’s a joint/ big family, one definitely needs a Will, or else your religion succession law will take care of same, in case Will is not drafted.
2nd question, how should one look at a Will?
As described above, Will is allocation of your entire wealth to your beneficiaries. First you need to write down your entire assets one by one& after that allocate each asset by writing names of your beneficiaries. Wherever an asset needs to be shared, you have to mention the sharing percentage to avoid an ambiguity. Voila! Major portion of the Will is over.
Two important points:
- After signing of the Will, ensure that one should read same in front of the beneficiaries, such that everyone is on the same page from the day one.
- Against each of your asset, at the time of purchase, you would have named one of your family members as a “nominee”. In case same is mentioned & it differs on the allocation, one should get same corrected at the same time, to avoid disputes later.
After this come’s a call, whether you need a legal stamp?
In case it’s a small family, few members & no dispute or difference of opinion, one should ideally go for the e-Will services, which is cost effective else take advice from a legal advocate directly, where costing will be based on quantum of work.
Disclaimer: This article is based on the understanding & research done by the writer on the subject matter. This is not a complete guide towards creation or drafting of a Will. Writer or any of its affiliates shall not be in any way responsible for any loss or damage that may arise to any person from any inadvertent error in the information contained in this article.The recipients of this article should rely on their own investigations and judgment before making any inference.