Making a will
Everyone to ensure that his property devolves
in a suitable and equitable manner, without any dispute. It
is advisable that one should make a will to avoid any confusion
at a later stage among the heirs.
Under the provisions of the Indian Succession
Act 1925, a will is legal declaration of intention of the
testator, with respect to his property, which he desires to
be carried into effects after his death. Every person of sound
mind, as long he is not a minor, can make a will. If a person
is of unsound mind at the time of making a will, the will
is not enforceable. A will, obtained by force, coercion or
undue influence, is a void will as it takes away the free
agency of the person. A will, made under influence of intoxication
or in such a state of body or mind, sufficient to take away
free agency of a testator, is a viod will. If it is proved
so, the will becomes ineffective.
A will can be made at any time in the life
of a person. There is no restriction of law as to how many
times a will made before his death is enforceable. A will
should be made with utmost care, as any unclear provision
will not be given effect to. A will has to be executed by
the testator, by signing on it. It should be attested by two
or more witnesses, each of whom should have seen the testator
signing the will. If a testator intends to make few changes
in the will, without changing the entire will, he can do so
by making a codicil to the will. The codicil can be executed
in a similar way as the will. The will or recodicil can be
altered or revoked at any time.
Though the registration of a will is not
compulsory, it can be registered with the sub-registrar. If,
at any time, the testator wishes to withdraw the will, he
can do so. A will can be sealed and kept in safe custody.
This will is released only to the testator himself or, after
his death, to an authorized person who produces the death
certificate. At all times, the provisions of the will prevail
over the nomination.
On the death of the testator, an executor
of the will or heir of the deceased testator can apply for
probate. The court will ask the other heirs of the deceased
if they have any objections, the court will grant probate.
A probate is a copy of a will certified by the court. It is
a conclusive evidence of the validity of a will.
In case any objections are raised by any
of the heirs, a citation has to be served, calling upon them
to consent. This has to be displayed prominently in the court.
Thereafter, if no objection is received, the probate will
be granted. It is only after this that the will comes into
A will is a legal declaration. Certain formalities
must be compiled with in order to make a valid will. It must
be some property, which is being given to others after the
death of the testator. Also, a will becomes enforceable only
after the death of the testator. It gives absolutely no rights
to the legatee (the person who inherits) until the death of
the testator. It has no effect during the lifetime of the
testator. The testator can change his will, at any time prior
to his death, in any manner he deems fit.