Making a Will- Tips to ensure you do it right!


Nowadays we hear of numerous families fighting over family wealth. Squabbles over property are not an uncommon phenomenon. This puts enormous pressure on the head of the family to ensure the wealth that he has accumulated through his lifetime is passed on to the right people. A simple way to put an end to this worry is by making a will.



A will is a personal statement of the wishes of an individual after his demise.It is meant to allow smooth transfer of his wealth and property after his death into the hands of the entitled beneficiaries. It is the most superior statement of legacy .In case of an existence of a nominee, the nominee ensures the wealth of the individual is brought back into the family which is further distributed as per the will.


A will need not only lead to distribution of one’s assets but can also include instructions of one’s last rites and other formalities to be included or excluded. In case of minor children, it can also appoint a guardian for the child and help to create a trust for the benefit of the child.


A will is the best way to avoid disputes among the many people of a family. It can help reduce the burden and tension caused to the family at the time of an individual’s death. However one must ensure the will is carefully worded and unambiguous, so no loopholes can be found or else it can be challenged and lead to great problems for the grieving family.


Certain tips for making a will:


Clearly worded will – while writing out a will, one must ensure he specifically states what exactly he wishes to give to whom and why. It is important to give reasons for the same because it shows that the individual has decided upon this course of action due to certain reasons and after due consideration. Hence such decision cannot be challenged.


Appoint trustworthy executors – An executor is the one who reads the will upon the death of the individual and carries out the distribution of his assets. Hence one must ensure to appoint a person who can be trusted. Also ensure to have a substitute executor as in case both the individual and executor happen to die together. Eg : husband and wife.


Appoint a guardian – In case one has minor children it is of great importance to appoint a guardian for your child as in case of absence of one, the responsibility of your child is in the hands of the court.


Making changes to the will – A person can alter his will as many times as he wants. In case if one happens to make innumerable changes then its best to make a new will.


The last will of an individual is considered. Hence while drafting a new will, one must ensure to state that all other wills stand cancelled and this one should be considered in the event of his death. The earlier wills must be destroyed to ensure no mal practice.


The will should also be signed by the individual and two witnesses. But it is necessary to ensure that the witnesses are not beneficiaries to the will or else they cannot be a recipient to their inheritance as the will becomes invalid for them.


Duplicate will – One must make several copies of the will and keep these copies signed and ready with other professionals related to the individual. For Eg. the individual’s doctor or lawyer. This will ensure at the least one copy of the will is available when needed.


Making a will can be an arduous job but it must be done to ensure your family does not have to go through the turmoil of distributing the family wealth in your absence. One need not be wealthy to make a will, but anyone who has money and some possessions must ensure to write one and update it with the changing circumstances.


So get down to making one today, and do it right. Give your family all the help you can even in your absence.

By Shalmali Kulkarni.

The writer is working as a para-planner with

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