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Six Quick Tips You Should Keep In Mind While Writing A Will


Writing a will isn't the most pleasurable of tasks as after all, death is a topic although relevant to us all, is simply something people don’t like talking about. However, writing a will is probably one of the most vital things you can do for your loved ones. Putting your wishes on paper helps your heirs avoid a host of unnecessary hassles, problems and hardships. Additionally, you gain the peace of mind knowing that your hard-earned wealth and worldly possessions will end up in the right hands in accordance with your wishes.

Where there is will, there is a way!

A will is a written instrument that lists out how you would like your various properties and other assets to be distributed after your passing. It’s a definitive statement of your intentions as it elaborates on whether you want to bequeath your assets amongst your heirs or alternatively, any other person. Creating a will is crucial as it ensures that your wealth and assets are distributed well in a manner and at the time as per your decision, once you are no longer around to do so.

A will is an important legal document that all adults should have as it’s responsible for carrying out your wishes. Although planning for the inevitable can be unpleasant, a will is the only way to be certain that your assets — property, gold, jewelry, financial investments, art and artifacts, and even cash lying at home, will be distributed the way you want after you demise. It’s already a difficult time for your family and friends, so make it easy on them.

However, more often than not, there are certain mistakes that creep in unknowingly while writing a will, which may ultimately result in your will either being declared null & void, being challenged in court or result in the distribution of your assets not in a manner how you envisioned. Here are six quick tips you should keep in mind while writing a will in order to avoid any unnecessary legal issues and to avoid potential arguments between your family members over your personal assets going forward:

1.Start with a Declaration

Make sure you start with a declaration stating your name, age, father's name and residential address in full at the time of writing the will so that it confirms that you really are, in your senses and not under any duress or influence.

2.Identify your Assets

Take a comprehensive inventory of all your financial assets; bank accounts, deposits, lockers, retirement funds, shares, and insurance policies you may have in your possession and give full details of them. Additionally, if you happen to have any assets in possession that aren't generally recognized as traditional properties, such as digital and biological assets like websites, domain names or social media accounts that generate money, make sure that you include them as well.

3.Mention your Executor's Details

Executors are responsible for executing your will in accordance with your instructions after your demise. Ensure you list out all his particulars in detail such as his name, address and your relationship with him in order to any misrepresentation. Additionally, always appoint a substitute executor as a back-up in case your original executor is unwilling or unable to act.

4.Identify Beneficiaries Clearly

You must mention the names of the family members or individuals who will be the beneficiaries clearly along with their addresses and date of birth. Further, ensure that you leave clear and unambiguous instructions. Avoid using nicknames, and make sure the name used matches those on birth certificates.

5.Get it Signed in Front of Two Witnesses

Make sure that your will is properly signed, dated and witnessed by two people who are not your beneficiaries.  Although these two witnesses do not need to read your will or be privy to what it actually contains, they need to be present at the time of signing your will as a legal requirement.

You must ensure that you sign on each page of your will and then make sure to sign and date the last page of the will as well. Further, these two witnesses also need to sign and mention that they have witnessed you signing on the last page of the will while affixing their name and addresses as well. 

6.Review your Will Periodically

Do ensure that you update your will from time to time or whenever there is a change in your assets. However, make sure you delete/destroy any previous versions after preparation of a newer one. Mentioning the date and time, in particular, is important, especially if the latest will supersedes any previous versions drafted before.

AN Apr 20/18

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