This blog piece aims to guide the reader through the process of registering a legal will from the convenience of home. While most of the steps in this process can be performed online, personal presence is required to get the will registered with the sub-registrar
What Is a Will?
A will is a legal declaration announcing the mode and the manner of distribution of one’s assets in the event of their death. The person making a Concurrent Wills for the distribution of his assets is known as the testator. The division of assets as per the will comes into effect only after the death of the testator and is legally binding.
Steps to Create a Will Online
- Check your eligibility to create a will
- Drafting a will yourself or with the help of legal professionals
- Sign the will in the presence of witnesses
- Register the will with the sub-registrar.
There are two essentials for a person to make a legally binding will as per Section 59 of the Hindu Succession Act
- The testator must be of or above 18 years of age
- The testator must make the agreement with a sound mind and with free will.
Drafting of the Will
There is no standardized or specific format to which a will must adhere to. Moreover, the will can be written by the testator themselves or it can be drafted in consultation with legal experts. Vakilsearch provides a convenient, speedy and professional way to assist in this process, and in getting the drafted will registered. A will should incorporate some essential elements to make the process of distribution of the testator’s assets simpler and more convenient. These include:
- Details of the Beneficiaries and the Testator – The name, age, and other relevant details of the testator and all the beneficiaries should be clearly laid down to allow easy identification and in avoiding confusion
- Appointing an Executor – The will should clearly specify an executor to oversee and execute the distribution of assets to the beneficiaries
- Declaration – The testator should declare that they are of age, of sound mind and are free from any undue influence or coercion
- Details of Property and Assets and Their Division – The will should list all the germane details of the assets of the testator to be distributed, as well as the specific distribution of the property to a beneficiary. In case the beneficiary is a minor, then the will should specify a custodian to hold the asset till the minor’s maturity
- Witnesses and Signature – The will must mandatorily be signed in the presence of at least two witnesses. The primary function of the witnesses is to verify the identity of the testator; hence it is not necessary for the witnesses to be familiar with details or the inner contents of the will itself. The signature must be of both the witness and the testator, and preferably on each page of the will.
In India, the will drafting is not mandatory for it to be valid and enforceable, however, it is still advisable to get a will registered to avoid hassles later on and to have a more convenient distribution of the assets of the testator at the time of distribution. The will must be registered with the sub-registrar of assurances, Government of India with a payment of a small fee. You can find the nearest sub-registrar office from the official websites of your respective states. This drafting is required to be done personally at the office, moreover, at least two of the witnesses must also be present personally. After verification of the conditional will, the will may be collected from the office of the sub-registrar at a pre-decided time (typically, a week after the date of registration). After that, a copy of the will is present in the records of the sub-registrar, and the original will may be deposited with a lawyer or a banker.
- Identity proof such as PAN card, Aadhar card etc of the testator and the witnesses
- A mental fitness certificate from a qualified medical professional for the testator
- Passport sized photos of the testator as well as the witnesses.
- Registration makes it easier for the legal heirs to get property transferred, failing which the beneficiaries may have to take lengthier routes by getting a probate from a High Court, which involves greater time and expense
- It provides an additional legal sanction and protects against any doubts such as to the validity of the identity of the testate since these details have been verified by the sub-registrar
- Will provides a protection against it being tampered, stolen or in any other way altered unintentionally since a copy of will is present with the sub-registrar.