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Before drafting a will and gathering the documents required for a will, let’s first understand what a will is.
What is a will?
A will is a legal document compiled before the death of an individual to be referred to after the death. It specifies and discusses the distribution of the estate amongst the successors. The person who makes the will is called the testator and the people who execute the wishes of the deceased are called the executor. According to section 2(h) of The Indian Succession Act, 1925, a will is defined as: “the legal declaration of the intention of a testator with respect to his property which he desires to be carried into effect after his death.” Under this act, the will is drafted and finalized after the death of the person. It cannot be changed or modified after finalization. However, if the person is still alive, then the will can be changed and modified.
In other words, a will is simply a document in which a person expresses his or her wishes and provides for clarity on the distribution of his/her estate after their death. Without a will, the person won’t have control over his/her estate after their death and it will go to the government, allowing them to make decisions on their behalf.
Why is a will important?
Having a will is extremely important for several reasons. These reasons are discussed below:
1. It’ll ensure the safety and security of minor children.
2. Allows you to decide who takes control of your estate after your death
3. Decides the distribution of property and assets after your death
4. Instructions about digital assets that include your social media and other digital files.
5. Helps avoid disputes among successors after death
6. It can also help leave legacies and help you to continue supporting your favorite causes and charities
7. Provides for funeral instructions as per one’s own wishes
What are the documents needed to draft a will?
To draft a will, the following documents are required:
1. Two passport size photographs.
2. A mental fitness certificate of the testator from a doctor.
3. Original Signed Will.
4. Two witnesses must also be present with their 2 photographs.
5. Photo proof of the person who has made the Will.
6. Photo proof of the two witnesses.
7. Address Proof of the person who has made Will.
8. Pan card of person making Will as well as of two witnesses.
What is the procedure of registering for a will?
The steps for registering for a will are given below:
1. The registration of a will happens at the sub-registrar office. You’ll have to submit photographs and address proof along with the photographs and address proof of the witnesses.
2. After drafting the will, the registration should be done by the testator along with the witnesses.
3. After registration, the will should be kept in the safe custody of a bank or a lawyer.
4. Permission can be granted in case modification has to be made in the will.
In conclusion, a will is a legally outlined document that states the wishes of a deceased person. It is put together by the testator and executed by the executor. It discusses the distribution of all property and assets that must be distributed amongst the successors of the deceased. After the death of the person, the will is finalized and no changes or modifications are made to it. If any changes had to be made, it had to be done before the death of the person.