This article talks about the importance of making a Will and why it is crucial to issue one.
A Will is a legal and formal document one owes to their family and themself. The importance of making a will allows a person to decide what to do with their assets, holdings, and other belongings, after their demise. The document informs beneficiaries about the necessary wealth, how to be distributed, to whom, and in what manner.
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How important is a Will?
Well, people have begun making video-graphed Wills. The video can be used as evidence and accepted as a legal issue.
If your questions are:
1. What is the importance of Will Writing?
2. What is the importance of a Will in India?
“Will” is not an overstated exercise. It is the only legal way to be utmost sure of one’s wealth to be received by the people that he/ she cares for after the demise. Otherwise, it will be considered intestate, which may complicate the situation for dear and near ones.
In an intestate, without any family or relatives, all the possessions get transferred to the Government. If the person has heirs, then the assets are shared according to the applicable system to the intestate. The complication of correctness according to the system needs to be followed in the absence of the will. In other words, the absence of a Will may lead to confusion, stress, and distress of near and dear and loved ones.
Intestacy Law is complex but to make it simpler, the below are two points.
- When one demise in an intestate, his/ her spouse, children, and other relatives are entitled to a share of a deceased person.
- Everything need not get transferred to the kith and kin when a person dies. Many times the wealth/property is divided amongst all heirs. The term heirs could stretch beyond the core family members as well.
1. A Will protects your family:
It is a crucial step forward to ensure the hard-earned money, assets, and belongings move towards the benefit of someone you love and trust. A Will shields your family and provides transparency on how your assets must be managed and allotted.
There are cases when benefits are assigned to children who are of minor age. The parents must decide the guardian, and when the child is of legal age, the benefits will be provided.
2. A Will helps to avoid unnecessary processes that will cause undue delays:
If a Will does not exist:
One has to file a petition under the ‘Succession Act’. It is a demanding and tiresome process.
3. A Will avoids Family disputes:
If it is well-drafted, it will avoid disputes among family members. The absence of the legal document can lead to ambiguity and cause hostile relationships.
4. A Will saves time and money:
All holdings must pass on through the probate court to start the legal processes. When one does not have a Will, the process can get confused. The court will name and allot a personal representative to administer and manage the process – it is time-consuming, expensive, and argumentative for the involved family members.
When there is a will, the process is streamlined and not a problematic experience.
5. A Will helps to determine the person to manage your assets:
Deciding who should manage the assets is one of the most important reasons to write a Will. The importance of making a Will lies on the testator and executor. An executor has many responsibilities ranging from closing bank accounts to liquidating assets.
Pick an executor you can trust. Trust is vital. If not, the court will choose one for you.
6. A Will helps in the allocation of assets and property:
The testator can name people as beneficiaries of various assets. The executor will be responsible for the distribution of said assets. A Will can be issued to ensure people do not receive any belongings/ assets/ wealth. For example, you might want to keep your ex-spouse away from receiving any of your hard-earned money or ensure your second child gets their due amount as well.
7. A Will helps to document a guardian for your minor children:
As a parent, it tends to be your duty to be proactive. In such cases, if there is a sudden case of fatality or demise, documenting the responsible person/ caretaker for your children helps them in your absence.
It is one of the most important reasons to write a Will.
The guardian is responsible for bringing up your children and taking care of their daily needs and wants.
If a guardian is not mentioned, the court will choose one. It suggests that someone that you have no liberty over will be raising your child.
8. What about your pets?
We do talk about humans, but what about your loved pets? With a Will, you can ensure that someone takes care of your pet – someone you trust. The law states that Pets are properties, you cannot provide any asset to your pet, but you can sure leave them with a trusted member.
9. Digital Assets must be formalized:
Digital Assets include online accounts, social media accounts, digital files (pictures, videos, websites, etc.). These must be formally closed or passed on. In a Will, you can name your digital executor to take over these accounts. You can leave instructions and specific information on how the account must be taken forward.
10. Do you have complicated family issues?
If you are a part of a dynamic family, a Will may be the only thing that keeps your family from falling apart after your demise. Once you write a Will and formally document it, the family will have no other way other than to abide by your last wishes.
11. Do you want to pave the way towards a healthier cause?
Some people want to leave a legacy and proceed to give away their assets to a cause. Charities help the world become a better place, and when you write a Will, you can preserve the legacy by leaving your monetary benefits to them.
12. Your last wishes matter:
Through a Will, you can provide instructions on how the funeral should be conducted. The instructions are not legally binding, but they can give the beneficiaries your thoughts and guidance.
13. Writing a Will gives you better mental health:
Some people avoid writing wills as they believe their loved ones or heirs will receive the inheritance. Probate can take years, and it is expensive.
Update your Will as time passes, but creating one should be mandatory. Writing a Will gives your kith and kin a map to follow and abide by. It gives your loved ones comfort as they know, you have thought of everything and how it must be carried forward.
What are the benefits of a Will?
It is a myth that one must create a Will only when one reaches old age. The young can make a Will as well. The earlier, the better. One can amend the Will if required. The purpose of the Will is it makes it easier for the family to arrange and sort everything. The absence of one can cause stress and change family harmony.
A Will can reduce the amount of inheritance tax payable on the value of the assets and money. Writing a Will is crucial when the family is large while few are dependent on you.
Time signifies the importance of the Will. Indian Law that is governed under Section 5 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925 states different rules for intestate succession in India. It is applied to all communities in India, except the Muslim community.
A developed system of Succession laws exists in the country that helps to govern a person’s property and assets, after their demise. The Act is applied to all communities except Muslims as they are largely covered by Muslim Personal Law.