While you might create assets and investments and leave behind a legacy for your loved ones, not specifying the beneficiaries in black and white might cause confusion. It might become difficult for the family to claim property, investments, money in bank accounts and other financials after the demise of a member. That is why it is important to create a Will. Having a Will becomes even more important if you don’t want your legal heirs to inherit your assets, but want to bequeath them to someone else.
A Will is a legally acceptable document that underlines the division of your assets post your demise. It contains your wishes as to how you want your assets including property, cash, ornaments, policies, stock and mutual fund investments to be distributed among the surviving members of your family. You can even leave behind assets for individuals and institutions that do not fall under the purview of family.
The reason why a Will should be drafted when you are alive is as follows –
Creating a Will is a simple affair. You can yourself write your wishes on a piece of paper and sign it. Attach the signatures of two witnesses and the Will would be created. It would also be legally valid unless nobody contests the wishes stated therein.
Here are the major components of creating a proper Will –
This is the first step in creating your Will. You would have to specify your assets and their allocation when you draft the will. You would be called the Testator as you are the one writing the Will. You can write the Will in your own handwriting or you can print it. You can use a simple piece of paper or Stamp paper if you like. There is no mandatory requirement about drafting the Will. You can draft it in any manner possible and also in any language.
After you have drafted the whole Will, you would have to sign it at the end. Your signature establishes the authenticity of the Will and should be done clearly and legibly. Also, the signature should be placed at the end of the Will. It signifies that the Will has been completed. Any text appearing after your signature would be invalid and won’t be considered legally binding.
There should be two independent witnesses to the Will. The signature of each witness would be needed for making the Will legally valid. The witness should not be a beneficiary mentioned in the Will as it might create a conflict of interest and lay down grounds for a possible dispute.
Once the Will is drafted, signed and witnessed, you should store it in a safe place so that it doesn’t get damaged or soiled. You can store the Will in a locker or give it to a lawyer or a named executor (an individual who would execute the Will after your demise) for safekeeping.
While drafting a Will is quite simple and easy, here are a few things that you should keep in mind –
While the thought of creating a Will might feel morbid, it is a prudent step to ensure a judicious division of your assets among your family. So, create your Will and review it regularly for making any changes if needed.