Will and testament is a legal document by a person, called a testator, who states that the distribution of his/her asset and possessions and also mention his/her wish regarding the custody of minor dependents and management of accounts and interests.
When we talk about Will, then there is no specific form or feature, but this document must explain the intent of the testator and his/her wish regarding the distribution of the property. Hence, it must constitute the following:
Well, we cannot trace the origin of Will amongst Hindus, but Wills was more popular amongst Mohammedans, and later it was in the European countries where the practice of having an oral testamentary or informal written testament became popular. The Indian Succession Act, 1925, governs the wills in the Indian Law system. It superseded the earlier acts that were governing Wills and codicils of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists. This Act doesn’t apply to the Mohammedans; they are governed by the Muslim Law and they can dispose of their property according to the Muslim Law.
Different types of Wills exist in the Indian legal system; we have enumerated them below:
This type of Will is created by a person who is not engaged in actual warfare or a soldier in an army or a mariner at sea.
To make an underprivileged will valid, it must meet the following conditions:
Another type of Will that we have in our system is the Joint Will. As evident from the name “joint”, this Will involves two or more persons who create the Will, or they agree to make a conjoint Will.
If the Joint Will is intended to come into effect after the death of both the persons or creators of the Will, then it will not be enforceable during the life-time of either. It can be revoked by either of the creators at any time during the joint lives or death of the one by the survivor.
Concurrent Wills are basically written by a person who has two or more Wills having the instruction about the disbursal of property. For example, one Will in the Concurrent Will can have the details about the disposal of all the immovable assets. At the same time, another Will deals with the disposal of all the movable assets.
As evident from the name, in this type of Will, the testator confers on other for benefits. It is executed by husband and wife during their lifetime to pass the benefits to other people during their lifetime.
A testator creates a Duplicate Will for the safety purpose. A copy of the original Will is kept in the bank or with an executor or trustee. In case the testator decides to destroy the Will in his/her custody, then the Duplicate Will won't be considered valid.
Sham Wills claims to be a Will but is not considered valid because the testator did not intend to have executed this Will as per his/her wish. As per the Indian Succession Act, a Will made by fraud is considered invalid.
When we talk about contingent or conditional Will in Indian Law, then this type of will comes into effect in case of an event satisfying the conditions mentioned in the Will. It is evident from the name of the Will that it is created on certain conditions, and there are certain factors that need to be taken into account to execute this Will. And if the condition doesn’t happen or it fails to happen, then the Will won't be executed.
Concluding from this, we can say that a Will is a document that has all the detail about the distribution of a deceased person’s property to their relatives and loved ones. Besides, the Conditional Will is used by a person when he/she wants the Will to become effective on the fulfilment of certain conditions or in case of occurrence of some event. An important aspect of this type of Will is that they are holographic, they are completely handwritten, or they can be attested, that means that this Will is signed by the testator and two witnesses.
Before heading to understand this, it becomes important to mention what is a bequest, and what is a conditional bequest in a Will?
Bequest means a legacy or asset or gift which is passed on to the other person. Well, in the case of Conditional Bequest in a Will, it is passing on the asset when certain conditions are fulfilled. Here are certain pointers that you need to know:
There are several benefits of having Conditional Will; firstly, it will only be executed under the fulfilment of certain conditions.
Secondly, this Will has definite conditions; in case of failure of fulfilment of these conditions, the Will won't be executed.
These Wills are holographic and are attested by two witnesses making them more authentic and valid.
Before going ahead with the making of conditional Will, it becomes important that you must ensure that the pointers in the Will are written aptly and are easily understandable.
Well, a lawyer would be the best person to help in this condition, but here we will be highlighting what are the key pointers that you need to take into consideration while going ahead with Conditional Will:
Well, the formulation of the Conditional Will is dependent on various factors, and a good lawyer is a must for this who can explain all about Conditional Will and its conditions, but here we will illustrate some examples as to how you can make Contingent Will.
While making the Conditional Will, one must pay special attention to the language of the Will. It must be specific and should have a detailed mention of the condition that needs to be fulfilled for the Will to be executed.
There are different types of Will as per the Indian Law System; they are the following:
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