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How to Write a Will

Draft/Write your Will

Once you have planned your Will by completing the previous steps, you can write your Will in simple, certain and unambiguous language. As per Section 74 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925 “Will or bequest void for uncertainty. A Will or bequest not expressive of any definite intention is void for uncertainty.”

If you have doubts or need advice you can contact a qualified professional, generally a lawyer – to draw up the final document. Using a professional helps to ensure that your Will is legally valid and covers every eventuality. By preparing a draft properly you will need to spend less time with the professionals, which could reduce their fees. It is also worth remembering that the cost of using a professional or HelpAge India to write a will can be considerably less than the legal costs that might need to be incurred if you die intestate.

Sign the Will and get it witnessed

Two people over the age of 18 are required to witness your Will. One of these attesting witnesses would need to sign the Probate application and might have to testify in the concerned Court for confirming your signing the Will. Therefore, your signature and signature of your two witnesses (referred to as attestation of your signature) should be completed in a single session, with all of you in the same room at the same time and date. Each of them must sign after you have signed the will. Under each witness’s signature, their full name, age, current address and occupation must be clearly written. Someone who will benefit from the will or his or her spouse cannot be an attesting witness. If this happens your will would be valid in respect of other legatees but your bequest would be void so far as concerns such person/s (in respect of the gift to attesting witnesses or attesting spouses of the proposed beneficiaries) as per Section 67 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925.

Registration of the Will

Registering your will with the Registrar or Sub Registrar is optional but a good idea. Registration adds to the authenticity of the Will. Registered wills are sometimes demanded by Banks and Authorities. You along with the persons who witness your Will, would need to go to the Registrar’s office with two original signed sets of the will, your two photographs and proofs of identity. Registration can be done for a small fee and does not take a long time (generally first half of the day).

Store the Will document

It is important to keep your Will safe and to let your trusted relation, friend or Executor(s) know their bank, Registrar or Sub Registrar, Solicitor, along with other important papers. Before storage, you may wish to make photocopies for yourself or next of kin.

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