Where there’s a will…

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   Making a will is important in many ways. While most wills executed are unprivileged wills, privileged wills can be made only by a soldier, airman, mariner in certain circumstances. Keep these in mind while making an unprivileged will:

   A will should be in writing. It is not necessary that any technical words be used, only the intention should be clear; All persons of sound mind not being a minor can make a will;

   A will is generally executed by the testator by signing it. A will should be attested by at least two witnesses both or all of whom should have seen the testator sign or affix his mark to the will; Will obtained by fraud, coercion or undue influence is not valid; It is preferable to make provision for the event of simultaneous death of the testator and the beneficiary.

   For example, if a testator has bequeathed a particular property to his wife, he could add a provision that in the event he and his wife die simultaneously, then the property shall belong to another person whom the testator may desire; It is also preferable to appoint executors under the will i.e. the persons who would be responsible to carry out the desires of the testator and distribute his assets as per the will; Upon the death of the testator, application can be made to the court for grant of probate or letters of administration as the case may be in respect of the will.

   The Indian Succession Act lays down the procedure to be followed for obtaining the probate letters of administration; It is sometimes misunderstood that by filing a nomination in respect of a flat in a society, a person has bequeathed the flat to the nominee.

   The fact is that although the share certificate in respect of the flat gets transferred in the name of the nominee after the death of the person but the nominee acts only as a trustee of that flat of the deceased. It is only by intestate succession or under a will as the case may be that the flat is acquired by the beneficiary; A supplement to a will is called a codicil. A will can be amended by executing a codicil.

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