WHAT IS A WILL?
THE LAW APPLICABLE TO WILLS
India has a well-developed system of laws that governs a person’s wish regarding the property after his death. Legal advice on property in India is sought to take care of all major dispute issues that arise related to property. These rules apply to wills and a codicil made by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, Jains, and Christians but not to Mohammedans as Muslim Personal Law mainly covers them.
The laws that apply to the Wills are:
•The Indian Succession Act, 1925
•Hindu Personal Laws
•The Indian Registration Act, 1908
•Muslim Personal Laws
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR MAKING A WILL?
From the Indian Succession Act, Section 59 states that any person of sound mind who has reached the age of majority.
The following individuals cannot make a will:
•Lunatics, insane or mentally disturbed persons
•Minors i.e. below 18 years old. In case a guardian is designated to a minor he will reach the age of maturity at the age of 21 years
•A dumb, deaf, or blind person can be entrusted with making a will if he is capable of understanding what that document is meant for.
•Even if a person is ordinarily insane, he/she can make a will as and when he is of sound mind.
•An individual cannot make a will if he is under the influence, intoxicated or ill, therefore, does not know what he is doing.
IMPORTANCE OF MAKING A WILL
Every individual wants to have a meaningful and dignified life and feel content when he looks back on the life lived. In the same way, he would like that after his death the same dignity is maintained in handling all the related matters. He would be concerned about all the affairs related to his property after the demise. It would be a natural desire that his wishes about his property be followed after the death. This is where the importance of a legal document – the Will – comes in.
A will is essential as:
•It can help the testator to ensure that his property is distributed among family members as per his wish
•It can assist in avoiding conflict/ turmoil for the family after his demise
PREPARATION OF THE WILL
Any person who isn't a minor has the freedom of making a Will. An individual who is competent to interpret what a will is, what type of property they are distributing and among whom he is distributing the property.
PROCESS FOR REGISTRATION:
•Besides merely making a Will document, the testator requires getting the will registered with the sub- registrar/registrar with a nominal registration fee.
•He must be personally present with his address proof at the registrar’s office with the witnesses, their photographs, and address proofs.
•To prove the execution of will signature of the registrar is sufficient;
•It is not necessary to register a will or codicil but one should do it to protect their loved ones.
•It is not required to get the will or codicil to be stamped at all.
Making a Will document can ensure that the wishes of the testator/deceased person are fulfilled without any stress and makes easier for family members to sort out everything.
Making a Will document can ensure that the testator’s plans of property distribution are presented and executed as per his wish and family members can sort things out without any hassle.