Will is a document that is created by the Testator for the devolution of his interest in the property to the beneficiary after his demise. Will can expressively include the details of the testator, beneficiary & property, which is the subject matter of the Will. The testator should be of sound mind & capable of understanding the consequences of his acts.
What is an update on Will?
- Will drafting in India is a complex procedure & hence requires the assistance of a lawyer. Updating a Will is the process of making major or minor changes to an already drafted Will (The reasons for the change have been discussed in further detail).
- The testator is required to check his/her will every 4-5 years to update a Will as per the changing scenarios.
- Because if in case the Will does not get updated & meanwhile the testator dies, it will create a tussle between the beneficiaries relating to the uncleared or not included part in the Will.
- So, as a precautionary measure, it is advised by the experts that the Will should be updated every 4th or 5th year to avoid any ambiguity or absolve themselves from further litigation. You may contact our team of lawyers to draft or update a Will.
What are the reasons for updating a Will?
There are various reasons that either change the nature of the Will or the terms of the Will altogether. Some of the common changes are as follows-
1. Selling of the property– If the property, which is the subject matter of the Will, has been sold by the testator, then it will change the nature of the Will & hence require an update in the Will. If more than one property is being sold, then a new Will is required to be drafted from scratch.
2. Buying of a new property– If the testator buys a new property after drafting a Will, then this will also require an update in the previous Will because, in such case, the estate of the testator is expanding.
3. Divorce– If the testator divorces his/her partner after drafting a Will, then they will require an update in the Will because, in such a case, there is a high probability of change in the executor of the Will. Because if the testator is husband/wife & the beneficiary is vice-versa, then there are high chances of having the same person act as an executor & beneficiary.
4. Birth & death – Due to the birth of a baby or death of any of the beneficiaries, as depicted in the Will, it requires the testator to update the Will as per the new addition or death of the family members.
5. Changes in business– Starting or ending a business can be the direct reason for the change of Will because due to deletion or addition of a new business to the family took or brought liabilities & assets to the beneficiaries. Therefore, it will require an update in the Will.
6. Financial Changes– In this materialistic world, nothing is constant, so the wealth of an individual is not a constant phenomenon. That’s why there is a possibility of either a gain or loss in the financial circumstances of the testator; therefore, it will require an update in the Will.
What are the types by which a Will can be updated?
1. Codicil– Codicil refers to certain minor changes in a Will. It is used to update some items & not to change an entire Will. It is mainly used to make additions or make clarifications to an already executed Will. A codicil can be attached to the main Will & need not be required to be registered or stamped. The codicil can be attached with the main Will to make it legally binding. The codicil will be treated as an update in the Will. The circumstances in which a codicil is required to be entered upon are-
- Handwritten errors
- Spelling errors
- Name errors
- Numeric errors
- Address errors
- Adding/removing an executor
2. Amendment/Drafting of a new Will– In case of substantial changes in the previously drafted Will, an amendment or drafting of an altogether new Will is to be drafted. The new Will is required to be stamped & registered just like the old Will. The hard copies of the previous Wills are required to be destroyed & the new Will is required to be stamped & registered as per the law. The update Will be treated as the new Will. Substantial change may range from-
- Death/Birth of any Beneficiary
- Changes in Financial Conditions
- Buying or Selling of Property
- Changes in Business
The list provided here is not exhaustive but only illustrative. It differs from case to case & the type of update in the Will.
The life of humans is not a constant phenomenon due to the ever-changing scenarios. Therefore, requires an update in their Wills in line with the changing scenarios. At times it comes to the purview of the testator that some minor mistakes in the Will require an easy update in Will in the form of a codicil; on the other hand, if the mistake is huge or there is a substantial change in the circumstances under which the previous Will was drafted requires the testator altogether to write a new Will.
It is advised to update the Will every 4-5 years & constantly be in touch with the lawyer to get expert advice. If you want to get the Will drafted or require an update on the Will, contact our team of experts to get an instant solution to all your queries.