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How long a Will is valid after the Death?

June 26, 2021

Will is a legal declaration of the intention of the testator about his properties both movable and immovable. Enforcement of will is always after the death of the testator and in case properties of the testator are dispersed before his death that document is not known as will. Will validity after death can also be challenged before a court of law but in a certain time period. Therefore will validity after death is quite important. 

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Will validity after death?

A will is to be enforced after the death of the testator. As the basic objective of a will is to enforce the will of the testator in relation to his properties and other assets. The validity of a will after the death of a testator can also be challenged. In general parlance, a will is valid whether it is registered or unregistered. 

There is no time bar for a will to come into effect. A will can be challenged up to 12 years from the death of the testator. As per Supreme Court in Jamnadas vs Naveen Thakral and Ors that if there are reasons as to why some parties may not have had knowledge of the will for a long time then the 12-year limit may be waived by the Civil judge as natural justice may be affected otherwise.

For how many years is a will valid? 

A will is valid after the death of the testator and there is no bar to its enforcement. But to challenge the will time period is just for 12 years and if a person wants to challenge it after 12 years he has to give a reason for the delay.  Once the contents of the will are carried out the will is considered to be executed. There are no specific laws regarding longevity/ period of time for the will in Indian law. Once the period of 12 years is passed, the will is said to be Permanent.

So we can say that there is no limit as to how many years a will is valid and it is valid for the lifetime of the beneficiary and can be enforced at any time.

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How does a will work after the death of the testator?

A will is enforced after the death of the testator and for enforcement of will, the beneficiary needs to get a probate i.e order for execution of will then you have to prove to the court that the person making the will have made it with free consent and was not under any kind of pressure. form the court of law. This probate from a court of law is required in case of unregistered will and when the property is to be transferred to a person. 

This probate is required to protect any kind of fraud or other miscreprency in the enforcement of will. To obtain a probate a person needs to prove the authenticity of the will and it is made without any undue influence. 

Further in the case of registered will under the Indian Succession Act, 1925 there is no need for probate as the will is already and it is known and proven that it is the last will of the person and there is no element of any kind of fraud in it. 

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Do wills expire?

A will can expire only in case a new will is formed or the testator withdraws it. A will can also expire in case it is formed under undue influence or is made under fraud. In such cases, a will is void and is deemed to be expired or not made at all. Otherwise, a will that is made as per proper laws and provisions does not expire. So we can say that So long it is not revoked by the executant himself or subject matter of the will, lost its existence before passing to the beneficiary or a court of law declares it invalid unlawful null, void, and unenforceable.

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About Author

Myself Sarika Bataan, a law student and first generation lawyer having keen interest towards creative writing and exploring different fields.

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