Where there is a 'WILL' there is a way
This chapter explains how Will helps in passing on your legacy to your loved ones and how it helps ensures that your hard earned wealth does not end up in the wrong hands.
As the famous saying goes – ‘Only two things in life are certain- death and taxes'. However, though we Indians spend a lot of time planning our taxes, besides life insurance policies, we spend very little time planning for the future of our loved ones in the unlikely event of our death. Our families receive our affection, concern, assistance and care while we're alive and well.
Most of us do not spend much time preparing to ensure that they face no financial trouble when we are no more. Whether one plans for it or not everyone knows that death is inevitable. Many people have now understood the fact that buying life insurance policies does not mean that one is inviting death. However, planning for our loved ones after our death must not be limited to just life insurance policies.
Planning for our loved ones after our death must not be limited to just life insurance policies
While making any kind of investment, we spend a lot of time choosing the right one; be it a stock, bond, gold or real estate. Though all of us do a pretty good job of earning and providing for our families as long as we are there, many a times we forget to document our investments systematically as well as plan for their smooth transfer when we are no more.
An untimely death can be very stressful for our family not only emotionally but also financially. Your managers who are managing your wealth may not be entirely truthful about your investments and siphon off some part. And legal trouble to settle such disputes are very time consuming and also take up a lot of cost.
There is only one solution to avoid such a situation. Keep a close track of your investments. Ensure that you have proper documentation, and keep it safely. Prepare and keep an updated will to ensure that in case of any unforeseen event, your loved ones are not financially troubled. Many of us have a nomination facility for our bank accounts and investments in mutual funds.
Keep a close track of your investments. Ensure that you have proper documentation, and keep it safely. Prepare and keep an updated will to ensure that in case of any unforeseen event, your loved ones are not financially troubled.
However, it is extremely important to understand that a nomination is not enough. According to Indian law, a nominee is not a legal heir. A nominee is someone who takes care of your property and other financial assets after your death until it is transferred to the actual legal heir. If you don't have a will, the legal heir could stake their claim from the nominee.
Some of the key advantages of having a will are as follows:
• Your property and financial assets can be avoided from going to unintended parties and will be distributed according to your will rather than Indian law and your religion's law
• Your hard earned legacy will be in safe hands
• Property related family disputes could be avoided during distribution
• It is a legally safe way of wealth transfer as the court will appoint someone to distribute or manage your property
One of the key advantages of having a Will is that property related family disputes could be avoided during distribution
A will is simply a legal document that ensures that after your death your property and assets are distributed and transferred as per your intentions and directions to the people chosen by you and in the proportions decided by you. Since you wouldn't be around to ensure the distribution of your wealth, it's important to assign an Executor' of the will who would do so in your place. In order to prove that the will is indeed prepared and signed by you and would need two people to witness this. And you have to be an adult to make a will. Making a will is realty simple and you need not be a financial wizard to make one.
Most of us think making a Will is only for the rich people and poor people cannot afford to do it. But in reality it is not so. Also people think it is a very complicated and costly process and keep on postponing it to do in old age. But in reality the process is not complicated and the earlier you make a will that much better it is for you. Most people also postpone it thinking that once made, the Will is final which is not the reality. The will can be easily updated and modified at any point in time.
Most of us think making a Will is only for the rich people and poor people cannot afford to do it. But in reality it is not so.
A will can be made even on a plain sheet of paper. The first paragraph of a will should contain a clause that states that the will has been made in one's full senses and without any kind of pressure. After listing all the assets, an approximate current value of the house, land or any other property should be clearly mentioned in the will. Assets like bank fixed deposits, postal investments, mutual funds and share certificates should also be covered.
The will must be put in an envelope which must be sealed after completing all the formalities and the seal must bear your signature and the date of sealing. The will should be handed over to a trustworthy person alter signing it in the presence of at least two independent witnesses. These witnesses have to sign it, certifying that the will has been signed in their presence. The date and place also must be indicated at the bottom of the will, and you and all the witnesses must sign every page. You can withdraw or change your will at any time. The latest will is the one that would be considered valid. You can add/sell properties and investments that are mentioned in your will.
Though not compulsory, It is advisable to register a will. Registration removes all doubts about the credibility of the will and is an easy procedure. In order to register the will, one needs to go along with two witnesses to the office of the sub-registrar. The registrar can also be called home. The second ground that you must cover is the chance of forgery. To prevent this, the event of the will being executed and registered should be videotaped.
- It is extremely critical for you to have proper documentation of all your assets and investments so that they can be distributed with ease.
- Review all your investments and update them periodically, and store the documents in a safe manner.
- The bottom line is very simple. If you want to secure the future of your loved ones, draft a will. It's never too early, it's never too late. As the saying goes, "Where there is a will, there is a way".
Next Course of action:
- Make sure you leave your hard earned wealth by transferring it to your loved ones. Make a Will today