Preparing an Online will in India

Everyone wants to avoid thinking about their death and thus a will that comes later to it, but wills are critically important for the family that lives on even after you pass on to the other side. While wills are usually drafted physically, many people also prefer drafting an online will because it saves a lot of hassle. A Will can make sure that you’ve taken care of those you’ve left behind, while helping your loved ones during a difficult phase of their lives.

What is a will?

A will, or last will and testament, is a legal document mentioning how to manage your affairs after your death, including: distribution of property, guardianship of children, funeral arrangements and everything else. Will make it convenient for your successors to divide up your belongings and carry on your final wishes.

Unless your assets are held jointly or pass through beneficiary designation, a will can control your single-name assets and its possession.

Why is a will important?

If you pass away without a will, the legal expression of that being “intestate” , your properties will be distributed according to your state’s laws. As per Section 2(h) of Indian Succession Act, 1925 provides that Will means the legal declaration of the intention of a person with respect to his property, which he desires to take effect after his death Will has been defined in Corpus Juris Secundum as A ‘Will’ is the legal declaration of a man’s intention, which he wills to be performed after his death, or an instrument by which a person makes a disposition of his property to take effect after his death.

Types of will:

There are different types of wills and their requirements determine their validity.

  • Simple or testamentary will: A legal document that mentions how to allocate your property upon your death.
  • Joint or mirror will: This is the legal document that blends an individual will of more than one person because their wishes are the same. For example: a spouse leaving everything to their surviving spouse and then to their children.
  • Handwritten or holographic will: A will that has not been witnessed or notarized, but is written by hand. It may not be valid in every state. For example: a soldier scribbles his/her wishes on pen and paper during a dangerous situation.
  • Oral or nuncupative will: A will verbally expressed to witnesses, rather than written down. It may not be valid by state. For example: A terminally ill patient who is unable to write and instead states his/her wishes aloud.
  • Pour-over will: A legal instrument used alongside a living trust as a contingency. It “pours” all estate assets over to the living trust in case assets were not transferred beforehand. For example: An asset wasn’t properly titled to the trust, but the pour-over will take care of moving it over.

Things to keep in mind while writing a online will:

Now that you know all the specifications that will help you create a valid Will through Will writing services, here are some tips that will assure you a smoother execution of the same. We recommend the following guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Before creating a Will through Will writing services, one must gather information related to all assets and wishes.
  • A Will can be easily made by a person himself without any legal assistance through online Will writing services, in a language that’s simple to understand and legally viable for further documentation.
  • A Will can be hand-written or typed. It is to be written clearly specifying one’s personal details, family details, property details, bequeath details, and details of both witnesses.
  • One must make sure that his/her Will is created when one is mentally sound, without any fear, force, coercion, or undue influence.
  • While signing a Will document on plain paper, you must invite two witnesses to sign on all the pages in their presence and allow them both to witness your signature on all pages. This document becomes your Legal Will which is accepted across India by authorities and courts of law.
  • One may simply take the assistance of a family member or a legal professional, wealth advisor for drafting a Will for his/her willful estate or business succession planning.

Other important factors while drawing a will:

Account for all possessions in your will

Everything you own, from tangible property to financial assets, is part of your estate. A will documents your wishes for how your estate will be dispersed, so it’s important to account for everything that comprises your estate to ensure that nothing is left out.

This is true even if you intend to leave your entire estate to a single heir. Accounting for all of your possessions will ensure that none of them — for example, an old workplace retirement account that lists your ex-spouse as beneficiary — ends up in the wrong place.

Determine distribution in your will

Talk with family and friends to learn who would most appreciate certain belongings. You don’t have to be overt or morbid in such conversations. The point is to get a feel for what would be a cherished bequest to a loved one and what would not. Then record which items should go to whom.

Be specific about who gets what. However, many attorneys caution against getting personal about your bequest decisions in your will registration. Since it’s a legal document, it should contain just the language essential to convey your wishes. If you want to elaborate on your choices, leave a separate letter to your survivors. There you can explain, for example, that you left your son Joe less than his siblings because you had given Joe more financial help over the years.

As mentioned above, be sure to consider beneficiaries listed on assets such as bank accounts, life insurance policies and retirement plans. Beneficiary designations take precedence over the wishes outlined in your will. Avoid conflicts by changing your beneficiaries as needed.

Think about your children in your will

If you have minor children, you will need to decide who will take care of them once you’re gone. This means naming a guardian for the kids in the event that both you and the other parent are not able to care for them. If you don’t appoint a guardian, the court will have to appoint one without your input.