Why Make a Will?
It is the early morning. You reach for the newspaper over a cup of tea. You open the first few pages and what do you read? Brothers fight brothers over property. Family disputes over land. You wonder if these fights could be avoided.
Yes…Many family disputes over land and property can be avoided through estate planning and its powerful tool.
A Will……So now you know why make a will.
What is a will?
In a will you state how you would like to distribute your assets (land, property, gold, cars) after death. Who should get how much? This is basically what a will is all about. You need an executor (someone you trust), to execute the will on your behalf (Make sure that your wish is honored as you are not around to do the job yourself).
Remember: You can will only what you legally own.
Why make a will?
If you die intestate (without making a will), your assets (land and property) will be distributed according to the succession laws of India based on your religion.
- You don’t have a say on your own wealth. Your assets (land or property), might not reach the people you love, or want to bestow your wealth on.
- You cannot leave such an important job (distributing your wealth), to your heirs (family and children).This may lead to quarrels and family disputes and lengthy court battles.
- You might have a differently abled (handicapped or disabled child), and need to provide for his/her livelihood.
- You want to distribute your wealth to whom you want and in the desired proportion. You want your coin collection to go to your son. You want your art collection (paintings), to go to your daughter. If you die intestate (without making a will), the succession laws of the country would take over and it is likely that your wishes would not be honored.
- If you want to bestow additional wealth on one of your heirs (say your daughter) as she might need additional support, then you can do so by making a will.
- You can make a will stating who will take care of your children in the case of your and spouses early demise. It can be used to assign responsibilities of bringing up your children to your brother or sister or a trusted guardian.
- Your might have shares (demat or electronic form), or an online insurance policy. You might have investments made on the online platform.
In today’s age of online investments and banking and password protection, your heirs might not even know what wealth you have and where it is stored. Making a will is very important.
What happens if you die without making a will?
- If you are a Hindu, Buddhist, Jain or a Sikh and you die intestate, then you come under the Hindu Succession Act 1956.Your assets are distributed equally among your children.
- If you are a Muslim your property will be divided according to Muslim Personal Law.
- If you are a Christian your property will be divided according to Indian Succession Act 1925.
This means making a will is very necessary, to enable a smooth wealth transition and distribution to your heirs.Do you still have the question why make a will?