How to Write a Will

A legally enforceable declaration of how a person wishes his or her property to be distributed after death. In a will, a person can also recommend a guardian for his or her children. Also known as a “will and testament” In it you declare who gets your belongings and assets when you die.

A will can be made by anyone above 21 years of age in India. You can also make the will on plain paper. It is a wrong perception that to make will one has to go to Lawyer. It’s not necessary to make the will on stamp paper. It is advisable to write your will in your own hand writing, as the same can be verified later in case of any doubts raised by relatives. A will is a sensitive topic to open up to. In India, people are not comfortable discussing a will. There is a misconception that if someone tells you to make a will, the person thinks that indirectly you are telling him that his end is near or that you are eying his property. However, all apprehensions disappear when one comes to know about the consequences of not making a will”.

A will is so important, that it should be your first step in your financial life. If your family structure is diverse, and you want to leave your wealth to different members of family like you want to, you should prepare your WILL now, not later. If you die without preparing a WILL, your wealth will then be distributed as per ‘Laws of succession’ (Government rules, on how wealth should be divided among family members).

Important points while making a Will:

  • If possible, have the two witnesses be a doctor and a lawyer. A doctor signing a will, won’t raise any question of you, being of unsound mind. The lawyer will vet the will and make sure you don’t make stupid mistakes at the time of writing and signing it.
  • Write your will on good quality thick white paper so it doesn’t get spoiled over a period of time. It should be stored in a plastic envelope in full size, without folds.
  • A will must always be dated and if more than one will is made, the one with the latest date will nullify all the previous ones. In fact, there should be a statement in your will, nullifying all other previous wills. The pages should be numbered to avoid fraud.
  • The value of assets often fluctuates, so it is better to mention how much each beneficiary will receive, in percentage terms rather than absolute numbers.

A will, will ensure that your asset are distributed as per your wish and not become state property. It’ll also ensure that your heirs will not have to run around to get the assets transferred to their names.