Pros and Cons of a Will

This blog outlines the procedure of registering a will in India along with the pros and cons of a will. Read on to know about it.


When a person makes a will registration they declare how the assets and properties are disbursed and to whom after death. Of course, the property and support can’t be ancestral but only self-owned. Enrollment of will is not mandatory, as, under the Indian Succession Act of 1925, it’s considered a personal choice of the testator. It is, nonetheless, advisable to register your will if its contents are to be followed after your death. In other words, if your will is not registered, its legality or genuineness will be questioned, sometimes making it impossible to verify. This blog explains the procedure and Pros and cons of a will.


Having understood the need for a will, let’s look at the procedure,

  1. Get a good lawyer to put your wishes into legal language and draft your will. Know that Vakilsearch’s will and testament lawyers are your best bet when it comes to it. 
  2. Once the will is drafted, at least two witnesses should accompany the testator to the Registrar for registration.
  3. Enrollment of a will happens at the office of the sub-registrar. One must submit address proof and photographs and get witnesses to sign the will. The witnesses have to bring their photographs and address proofs as well. 
  4. Once registered, it can be kept in safe custody with the lawyer or in a bank locker. In addition, the registrars also have the authority to keep wills in the deposit. If you select a registrar to safeguard your will, you must put the will in a sealed cover. After confirming the identity of the testator or the authorized person, the register will keep on the will.
  5. If you want to withdraw the will from the Registrar, you can personally send your request or do it through an authorized agent. If the Registrar is satisfied, they will deliver the will to you.
  6. If you want to revise or modify certain clauses in your will, it can be done through a Codicil, a document enlisting the amended parts of the will. It must then be attested by the testator in the presence of two witnesses and kept along with the original will at the Registrar.
  7. If the person whose will is with the Registrar dies, any person may apply to the Registrar to open the cover containing that will. However, the Registrar will only open the cover after confirming that the testator is dead. They open the cover in the applicant’s presence and provide a copy of the will. The original will remain in the Registrar’s custody until a court orders them to produce the original will.

Pros of a Will

  1. The registered will cannot be tampered with, destroyed, lost, or stolen.
  2. The registered will is kept in safe custody by the Registrar.
  3. No person can access or examine a registered will without the express permission in writing of the testator until their death.
  4. If a registered will is uncontested, it may be possible to mutate the leasehold property in the name of the legal heirs without obtaining a probate of the will.

Cons of a Will

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

Why is a Will Recommended?

True, not registering a will does not imply that the will is invalid. An unregistered will does not prevent any legal heir from fighting for the same. So, why is it advised to register a will?

The government does not consider a will to be the only final legal document for distributing a deceased person’s estate or other assets. Following the death of the will owner, the executor named in the will initiates testamentary proceedings in civil court. They must apply for the same within two years of the will owner’s death. The executor must also provide proof of the will testator’s death. They should also confirm that this is the deceased’s testament.

The court issues a notice to the testator’s legal heirs to file objections to the granting of probate or citation publication in the local newspaper. The court also confirms if the will submitted is the actual final will of the deceased person. It also confirms whether the testator duly executed and attested the will according to the law. Also, it collects proof of whether the testator was of sound mind when they created the will. If everything seems to be in order, the court issues a letter of probate or a letter of administration, mentioning the necessary points are satisfied.

However, one can always challenge a will by claiming the testator was mentally unsound while making the will. Also can claim that the will was altered after being signed. 

During such times, a registered will helps the court by providing valid legal evidence against these allegations. This is because no one can destroy, steal, mutilate or tamper with the registered will. Hence, the court will have no reason to doubt the will’s authenticity. This helps the asset distribution process conclude peacefully without chaos or confusion.

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