Legal Guide

Law of Wills in India

by Bhavya Choudhary · 3 min read

Laws of wills in India

Introduction 

  • A testator can make a will to distribute his/her property to their children or someone they love to show affection or gratitude. It can be a way to help some individuals too. In earlier days, oral wills were valuable too, and people just acted accordingly.
  • As the Law and provisions progressed, written Will be made the legal instrument for property overtaking, and heirs need to show such proof. There are several Laws of Will in India to maintain order and have the Will executed righteously. 

What is a Will? 

  • A will is a legal document/instruction which is left written by an individual where they express their intention and wishes regarding their property and possessions. They can write it themselves or ask someone trustworthy to write it down for them. 
  • The best way is to take legal consultation as the lawyers are very knowledgeable about the Laws of Wills in India, and the whole process becomes efficient.
  • As per the Laws of Wills in India, It may be a legal document, but there are no restrictions or mandatory ways to form it. There is no need to print it on stamp paper of any kind. It can be simply typed or handwritten. The handwritten Will is tough to refute or revoke.
  • As per the Indian Succession Act of 1925, the Laws of Will in India state that any individual can make a will, the only conditions being that they must be of sound mind and above 18 years of age.

Key Elements of a Will 

It is always a wise decision to have a will in written form and revised by a lawyer to take their legal advice on property-related matters to stay following the Laws of Wills in India and include every required element to make it legally more valuable. 

The basic points are as follows:

  • The declaration: The Will should be made by a declaration at the start that the testator is of sound mind and capable of making their own decisions regarding property and assets. As per the Laws of Wills in India, this step is very important to form a genuine will. 

The executor’s name is also mentioned if the testator has someone trustworthy who will take necessary actions after their demise. Also, note the Will according to its date, and mention if it is the first Will or if any previous ones are to be revoked.

  • Asset information: The next step is to mention and state details of every asset owned by the testator which they might like to transfer to their children or any other person willingly. 

Any fixed deposits, funds, shares, or bonds must be mentioned to take proper access and management. The list can be very lengthy and complex, so it’s best to take legal advice for proper management of such issues.

  • Distribution of assets: The distribution and property shared information is a crucial part, according to the Laws of Wills in India. The testator must clearly state which property goes to whom. 

The names and roles should be crystal clear to avoid disputes and confusion in the future. It can also lead to alterations regarding their share if not written and revised efficiently. If a minor is to receive something, their guardian or trustworthy custodian should be mentioned. 

  • Sign and witnesses: The Will must be signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses as per the Laws of Wills in India. This step is mandatory to make it legal and acceptable. This step proves the genuineness of the Will under the Laws of Will in India. The witnesses must also attest to the Will to make it legally valid.
  • Revise and sign each page: The last page must be properly signed, and the date should be given. The testator and witnesses must sign each page of the Will as per the Laws of Wills in India. Will registration is not mandatory, but it makes it more effective over time.

Will can be stored after registration with the registrar or be taken back. It is safer to keep it with the registrar after the will registration has been done. 

Copies of the Will should be with the testator at their convenience. 

When will a Will become Invalid?

A will can become invalid for various reasons as prescribed by the Laws of Wills in India. There are some grounds on which Will is challenged or revoked. It must prove to the court that the testator was of sound mind and capable of taking their own decisions. 

According to the Laws of Wills in India, a will is only valid if the following are as follows:

  • Capable and sound mind: The individual forming a will should be capable of taking decisions and must be of sound mind. A person who is abnormal or lunatic cannot make a will for anyone. People with Alzheimer’s can also make the Will, the only condition being that they are capable of making it when they are writing it.
  • No minor: Only individuals who are above 18 years of age can make a will to transfer h property to someone else or their legal heirs. Any kind of succession is a complex procedure and should be followed by measures as per the Laws of Wills in India.
  • Voluntarily: A will that is formed by undue influence, coercion, or fraud is not valid and can be challenged in a court of Law as per the Laws of Wills in India. No daughter or son must force their parents or guardians to make a will in their favor as it is illegal and forgery.

In cases where the individual dies intestate, the property or assets are divided into equal parts among the class 1 heirs or class 2 heirs, whichever is present.

Conclusion 

Making a will as per the Laws of Wills in India and executing it in the right manner is very important for it to take effect. The testator must consult a property expert lawyer or can also draft a will online for better results.

There are many important key elements necessary to make a will. The laws of wills in India are complex, and one must take advice from an expert.

Bhavya Choudhary

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Bhavya Choudhary

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