In simple words, A will also known as testament is a legal document through which a person, the testator, expresses his wish/desire the distribution of assets at death among the persons named therein and the mode how the executor to manage the estate until its final distribution.
As per Section 2(h) of Indian Succession Act, 1925 provides that Will means the legal declaration of the intention of a person with respect to his property, which he desires to take effect after his death.
Every person who major, of sound mind, having some disposable property and willing to write a Will can make will. It is necessary to ensure that the will refers to all the property of the testator.
There is no specific format for the preparation of a Will, however the following points are to be considered while drafting a will
(i) Testator should write the date, his full name, father’s name age and permanent address.
(ii) Declaration may be made that the will being written is the last Will and all the previous will, codicil, if exists are revoked. (iii) That the testator is in sound mental and physical health.
(iv) The name, address and relation of the legal heirs and other beneficiary if any.
(v) The description of all the properties in the name of the testator.
It is advisable amend the Will is by revoking the old Will and making a new Will. However, one can amend the Will through a codicil. Codicil is used for amendment or addition to the existing Will. One can use a codicil to add a new provision, amend a provision, delete a provision or revoke the existing Will. A valid codicil must contain the reference of the Will to be amended, signed, dated and witnessed like a legal will.
The legal position of nominee is only the trustee of the assets and in no way replace rights of the legal heirs. The distribution of assets will according to the desires in the will between the beneficiaries and in absence of a Will i.e. intestate, transmission of assets will be governed by succession laws.
The legal opinion is not necessary for making a will. However there is no harm in seeking a legal opinion. Sometimes the legal terminology or complexities and the nature of the assets requires legal opinion to avoid any ambiguity in the will.
Will is important for all having assets in their individual name. It is not important how much assets do you own. The objective of will is to direct the management and devolution of assets when the testator is not alive and a way to reduce the litigation amount the legal heirs.
Since the life is uncertain and death is certain; therefore, the earlier you plan, the better it is. Planning for the certain is essential than the planning for the uncertain because uncertainties have deviations but the certainties do not. The family matrix, the capabilities of the legal heirs, the composition of assets are certain consideration to plan a will to avoid the bitterness, litigation etc. among the legal heirs.