Will Registration in India: Procedure, Advantages & Disadvantages

Last Updated at: November 04, 2019
14706
ancestral property

When a person makes a will, he/ she is declaring how the assets and properties be disbursed and to whom after his/ her death. Of course, the said property and assets can’t be ancestral in nature, only self owned.

Registration of will is not mandatory, as under Indian Succession Act, 1925, it’s considered to be a personal choice of the testator. However, it’s advisable to register it, if its contents are to be abided by after the person’s death. In other words, the will’s validity or genuineness will be a suspect and difficult to prove if it’s not registered.

Procedure for will registration

Having understood this, let’s look at the procedure for registering a will.

a. Registration of the will happens at the office of the sub-registrar. You will have to produce address proof, photographs and the witnesses who will sign the will. The witnesses have to bring their photographs and address proofs as well. Note that you will have to pay stamp duty during registration.

Drafting your Will with vakilsearch

b. Once the will is drafted, a witness should accompany the testator to the registrar for registration.

c. Once it’s registered, it can be kept in safe custody in a bank locker or with the lawyer. The registrars also has authority to hold in deposit wills. If you opt for the registrar for safekeeping of your will, you will have to submit the will in a sealed cover by the testator or by a person duly authorised by the testator. On satisfying the identity of the testator or the person authorised by the testator, the registrar will hold the cover containing the will.

d. If you decide to change your mind and want to withdraw the will from the registrar, you can personally send your request or do it through an authorised agent. If the registrar is satisfied, the will be delivered to the person.

e. In case you want to revise or modify certain clauses in your will, it can be done through Codicil, a document
enlisting the amended parts of the will. It is then attested by the testator in the presence of two witnesses and kept along with the will with the registrar.

f. If the person, whose will is with the registrar, dies, any person could apply to the registrar for opening of the cover containing the will of the deceased. However, only after the registrar is satisfied that the testator is dead, the registrar will open the cover in the presence of the applicant and provide a copy to the applicant. The original will continue to be in the custody of the registrar till a court orders the official to produce the original will.

Advantages of Registering a Will

a. The will cannot be tampered, destroyed, lost or stolen.
b. The will is kept in safe custody by the registrar.
c. No person can access or examine the will without the express permission in writing of the testator until his/ her death.
d. If a registered will is uncontested, it may be possible to get the leasehold property mutated in the name of the legal heirs without obtaining a probate of the will.

Disadvantages of Registering a Will

a. Revocation of a registered will is cumbersome when compared to the revocation of an unregistered will.
b. If a registered will is revoked, the subsequent will made by the person should also be a registered will.

Will Registration in India: Procedure, Advantages & Disadvantages

14706

When a person makes a will, he/ she is declaring how the assets and properties be disbursed and to whom after his/ her death. Of course, the said property and assets can’t be ancestral in nature, only self owned.

Registration of will is not mandatory, as under Indian Succession Act, 1925, it’s considered to be a personal choice of the testator. However, it’s advisable to register it, if its contents are to be abided by after the person’s death. In other words, the will’s validity or genuineness will be a suspect and difficult to prove if it’s not registered.

Procedure for will registration

Having understood this, let’s look at the procedure for registering a will.

a. Registration of the will happens at the office of the sub-registrar. You will have to produce address proof, photographs and the witnesses who will sign the will. The witnesses have to bring their photographs and address proofs as well. Note that you will have to pay stamp duty during registration.

Drafting your Will with vakilsearch

b. Once the will is drafted, a witness should accompany the testator to the registrar for registration.

c. Once it’s registered, it can be kept in safe custody in a bank locker or with the lawyer. The registrars also has authority to hold in deposit wills. If you opt for the registrar for safekeeping of your will, you will have to submit the will in a sealed cover by the testator or by a person duly authorised by the testator. On satisfying the identity of the testator or the person authorised by the testator, the registrar will hold the cover containing the will.

d. If you decide to change your mind and want to withdraw the will from the registrar, you can personally send your request or do it through an authorised agent. If the registrar is satisfied, the will be delivered to the person.

e. In case you want to revise or modify certain clauses in your will, it can be done through Codicil, a document
enlisting the amended parts of the will. It is then attested by the testator in the presence of two witnesses and kept along with the will with the registrar.

f. If the person, whose will is with the registrar, dies, any person could apply to the registrar for opening of the cover containing the will of the deceased. However, only after the registrar is satisfied that the testator is dead, the registrar will open the cover in the presence of the applicant and provide a copy to the applicant. The original will continue to be in the custody of the registrar till a court orders the official to produce the original will.

Advantages of Registering a Will

a. The will cannot be tampered, destroyed, lost or stolen.
b. The will is kept in safe custody by the registrar.
c. No person can access or examine the will without the express permission in writing of the testator until his/ her death.
d. If a registered will is uncontested, it may be possible to get the leasehold property mutated in the name of the legal heirs without obtaining a probate of the will.

Disadvantages of Registering a Will

a. Revocation of a registered will is cumbersome when compared to the revocation of an unregistered will.
b. If a registered will is revoked, the subsequent will made by the person should also be a registered will.

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A lawyer with 14 years' experience, Vikram has worked with several well-known corporate law firms before joining Vakilsearch.