Should I write a will for my loved ones?
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, it is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up-to-date. Therefore, the information should not be used as a substitute for consultation with lawyers. We recommend that readers seek the advice of a lawyer or other appropriate legal professional if they require legal advice.
Writing a will is something that many people avoid thinking about, but it is an important way to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of after you pass away. A will is a legal document that expresses your wishes for how your property and assets should be distributed, and who should be responsible for carrying out those wishes. Remember to write clearly and specifically name the beneficiaries and what they will receive in order to avoid any confusion or doubt. A will can also include other instructions, such as who should take care of your minor children, pets, or if you want to make charitable donations.
Why should you write a will?
There are many benefits to having a will, such as:
- You can choose who inherits your property and assets, and in what proportions. If you die without a will, the law will decide how your estate is divided based on your religion, which may not reflect your preferences or the needs of your family.
- You can name a guardian for your minor children, and a trustee for their inheritance.
- You can reduce the stress and conflict for your loved ones. Having a clear and valid will can help to avoid disputes among your heirs.
How do you write a will?
Writing a will can be a simple or complex process, depending on your situation and goals. You can hire a lawyer to draft one for you. Here are some basic steps to follow:
- Make an inventory of your property and assets, such as real estate, bank accounts, investments, vehicles, jewellery etc. You should also list any debts or liabilities that you have, such as mortgages, loans etc.
- Decide who you want to inherit your property and assets, and in what proportions. You can name specific people, such as your spouse, children, relatives, friends etc., or you can name groups of people, such as "my grandchildren" or "my siblings". You can also leave some or all of your estate to a charity or organisation that you support.
- Choose an executor for your will. This is the person who will be responsible for carrying out the instructions in your will, such as paying off your debts, filing taxes, distributing your property etc. You should choose someone you trust and who is willing and able to do the job. You can also name an alternate executor in case the first one is unable or unwilling to act.
- Name a guardian for your minor children, if you have any. This is the person who will take care of your children's physical and emotional well-being until they reach adulthood.
- Complete all the necessary procedures for the will with the help of a trustworthy lawyer.
- Store your will in a safe place. You should also follow the instructions of the lawyer for the future execution of the will.
You should review and update your will periodically, especially if there are any changes in your life situation, such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child, death of a beneficiary etc.
By writing a will, you can ensure that your loved ones are protected and provided for according
to your wishes. Remember to write clearly, and specifically name the beneficiaries and what they will receive in order to avoid any confusion or doubt.
Here is some additional information,
1) Registering a will is highly recommended. A registered will can reduce the likelihood of being contested.
2) Two witnesses should sign the will.
3) A beneficiary can not be a witness.
4) If the testator (i.e., person writing the will) is very old or ill, a medical certificate from a registered MBBS doctor certifying to "sound mind" of the testator may be included along with the will.