History has seen innumerable cases of strife due to wealth right from the Vedic ages. Till date the scenario has not changed, only the ways of settlement have. There are various famous cases and judgments which have time and again reinforced the importance of having a will. This may sometimes lead the lay man into believing that Will is only for the famous and the rich. But, this is not true. As per PIB data 2016, 76% of all cases pending in Indian Courts are relating to Family and Property Disputes. We feel, most of which could have been avoided if proper Succession Planning or Will were in place. Study suggests that the property dispute cases go on for a minimum average of 10yrs. These years bring with them a lot of distress for the family. Financial distress due to non accessibility to assets for use and the expense to be incurred for legal services. Mental, emotional and physical distress due to the prolonged period taken for dispute settlement and resolution. In this period a lot can change starting from financial needs, relationships and life status. This is the least we can sum up about the challenges.
What is a Will?
A will is a written document that speaks for you after you die. Most people should have a will. It can communicate how you want your property and assets to be distributed; name a guardian for your children if you pass away before they reach adulthood; and leave specific instructions like arrangements for your funeral, organ donation, forgive debts and a lot more. Having a Will gives you the comfort of knowing that the rewards of your life's work will be distributed and managed according to your wishes. When you write a Will, you appoint an executor who will oversee the processes of distributing your estate in line with your wishes.
Importance of Will:
It is important to make a will because, When you die without a will or a succession plan, state laws known as "Intestate Succession Laws" decide which family members will inherit your estate and in what proportion. In India it is the Hindu Succession Act or Indian Succession Act or Muslim Law based on the religion of the person. This may not be the way that you would have wished your money and possessions to be distributed.
Most people want to distribute their property differently than the state would distribute it. For example, many people want to leave gifts to friends, distant relatives, helps, educational or charitable organizations – and intestate succession does not allow for any of that. If you want other people or organizations to inherit some of your property, or if you want to decide the proportions, a will can make sure your wishes are followed. Also this helps in saving taxes and stamp duty.
Myths and Facts:
Registration of Will is not mandatory. It is recommended in cases where chances of the will getting challenged can be perceived.
Will on a plain paper is valid. There is no need to take the print of the will on a stamp paper.
Appointment of nominee is a stop gap arrangement. Succession Law supersedes nomination in most cases.
#Gifts vs will:
Gift to non relative has tax implications. By gifting, the right to the property is relinquished immediately. However in the case of will, the property is transferred only after the death of the person writing the will. Stamp duty is also applicable on gifts.
# It is a costly and time taking task:
With an online portal like www.dilsewill.com, will making is now affordable, available 24*7, fast and secure.
# Its too early to make a will:
“Death is certain, but the timing is uncertain.” Especially at a time when the world is going through an unprecedented situation of a global Pandemic, the luxuries to procrastinate will making to old age is not there. With the inset of westernization of India, nuclear family structures are at a rise. This makes will making at an early stage an essential.
#Will can only be written once in a lifetime:
One can change his/her will innumerable times in his life span. In fact, it is recommended that the will be revisited every 3-5 yrs due to changes in financial status, relationship status, social status and the like. The last dated will is the final will. Changes to a will can also be done through codicil.
What not to miss when making a Will:
“The greatest certainty in life is death, but the greatest uncertainty is the time.”- Carl Sandburg
Act now, log in to www.dilsewill.com to make your will now.
CA Raj K Lakhotia, Founder| CA Namita Lakhotia, Co-Founder | www.dilsewill.com
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