Making a will for property in India

Making a will for property in India is one of the essential things you can do for yourself and your family. Not only a will legally protect your spouse, children, and assets, it can also spell out precisely how you would like things handled after you are no more.

Nri Legal Services
Created by Nri Legal Services
On Jan 11, 2018
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What is a will?

In simple words, a will is a legal document that dictates how your assets should be distributed after death. It's a fluid document because it does not affect you until you die - you can change it whenever you want. However, to be valid, the document must meet several requirements under state law - the number of witnesses, whether it must be typed or handwritten, and others - which are all fairly standard state to state and very simple to fulfill.
A will contains specific instructions on how you wish your estate to be distributed after your death, including provisions for your personal belongings that you may own - jewellery, furniture, and the like, as well as naming guardians for minor children. It also indicates which sources are used to pay due estate taxes and debts, and it identifies an executor who will be liable for settling your estate.

Why do you need to make a will for property in India?

Virtually every person - married, divorced, single, childless, parent, in good health, poor health - should have a will, for the simple purpose that without one, you cannot decide who should receive your property. Each state has a standard plan of how the property must be distributed if you die without a will, using the standard scheme depending on your marital status, whether you have children, living parents or siblings and other criteria. Even if you die with no living siblings, the state will not allow distribution to a friend, a preferred charity or any other person. Instead, the property will most likely go to the state.

A will prevents Intestate Succession

If you die without a will or any other estate plan, the state laws known as "intestate succession" determine which family members inherit your estate and in what proportion. In most states, your spouse, children, or parents have priority over intestate succession.

Your will does more than just distribute property

Central to most wills is the distribution of the will maker's estate. But the will can do much more than that. For instance, you can use your will to:

  1. Name an executor to wrap up your property
  2. name guardians for your children and their property
  3. build trust for your children or other young beneficiaries
  4. forgive debt and more.

A will can reduce family conflict

The division of an estate after death brings many emotions with it. The slightest difference can lead to hurt feelings and recriminations. As divorce becomes more complex and mixed families more common, sharing assets has become even more complicated. A will that clearly defines your wishes can reduce conflicts and speculation about what you "would have" wanted.

Conclusion

The importance of a will is clear regardless of your personal situation. Without a will, you have no information about the distribution of your property after your death or the persons who are entrusted with the administration of the estate. A local court makes these decisions, and it has no authority to deviate from the state law.
Essentially, the state steps into your shoes and makes all decisions for you.
This can easily be avoided with proper planning. By creating your Will for property in India, you can always add to the terms or change the document as your life evolves. It is important to review your current will every five years to make sure it is up to date and still reflects your future wishes. For personalized advice on your situation contact any reputed law firm in India.