However, this can be avoided by having a well-crafted estate plan in place and a will may be the most important document that you would write. This is important not only for the elderly but for every individual above the age of thirty years. It is a part of your overall financial planning because it allows you to select the persons who will receive your assets in case of demise.
How To Prepare A Will:
Preparing a will requires you to do all of the below points…
- collating the details of all the assets and liabilities,
- understanding the specific laws of succession for each asset class,
- deciding which family member or person would inherit the assets after your demise,
- choosing the right executor who will administer the estate after your demise,
- choosing a guardian for minor children in case of the demise of both parents.
One could seek the help of a lawyer who could provide advice on the above matters and ultimately draft the will in legal language incorporating crucial and contingency clauses.
Review Of An Existing Will
Those who already have a will should review the same to check if any changes are required due to marriage, divorce, having children, the demise of family members, the addition of wealth, changing your mind about your heirs etc. One may either choose to make a codicil or prepare a new will.
Executing A Will And Its Registration
Once the will has been drafted, it can be printed on plain paper, signed by the testator and two witnesses. The witnesses shouldn’t be the beneficiaries under the will. Registration of a will is not compulsory, but it provides greater authenticity and makes it less prone to legal challenges.
In absence of a will, the intestacy rules will apply. Its means that the assets of an individual will get distributed amongst the legal heirs as per the applicable succession laws which are based on their religion. This is irrespective of any nomination. Most of the times people do not prefer distributing their assets in the above manner and their wishes regarding distribution can be exercised by writing a Will.
Challenges In Absence Of A Will
Not having a Will may lead to family disputes and lengthy court battles. A Will which lists down all the assets comes as a rescue to the family members when they are trying to get access to these assets and saves them the hassle of digging into your accounts and files to gather information. Having a Will in place also reduces the paperwork tremendously during the execution of the estate of a deceased.
An effective succession plan in place provides one peace of mind and without procrastinating one should implement this with careful thought and consideration.