10 May, 2018
Often, we have heard stories about how the spouses or children of those who pass away have struggled to get the affairs in order. In many cases, it is the absence of a will that causes lots of issues, as that can throw up a lot of claimants and thus cause confusion, and even bitter legal battles.
At times, even when there is a will, a will that is prepared without giving proper thought to all situations that can occur, also can cause issues. So, it is important that we make an adequately worded will, for the ease of our near and dear ones, when we are no more. It is best if a will is written with proper guidance from a legal counsel, who can help you draft the same, as well as ensure that there are no ambiguities in it. Also, certain “must” declarations like it is being made in your own free will with a sound mind, etc., should be present in the same, along with a valid signature done in the presence of two witnesses with details.
Cover all your assets
Make a list of all your assets and ensure that each and everything is mentioned in the will, clearly, as to whom the asset goes to, post your death. It could be gold, real estate, bank deposits or lockers, shares and equities, or even the insurance policies that you have taken. When you have covered everything, it makes it easier for the family to follow up and get things done.
Being very specific
Provide all details of the assets being mentioned like the bank accounts, lockers, shares, etc. Mention where the property papers are and what all they are, provide past details like when it was purchased, and details if possible to make sure they get the full picture, and won’t have any future issues or claims from others. While mentioning the inheritance, use full and proper, official names of your spouse, and children or other family members as may be the case. It is better to be safe that way as otherwise, there could be contention on that basis as well. So, state the person’s relationship with you very clearly.
Interestingly, many people do not make a will, because they have a feeling that it is kind of like preparing for their death, a superstition of sorts. However, with all the advanced medical technology, access to healthcare and insurance etc., mortality rates are rather high. So, it is entirely possible that people will live quite long. If they have made a will, quite early on in their 50s or 60s, it might have to be often updated, for as long as they live. People may sell or acquire new properties; situations may change, prompting a change in your inheritance wishes, bank accounts and lockers may be closed or opened etc. These should reflect in your will to avoid confusion of any sort.
Appointing proper executors
A will should have proper executors named for the sake of its implementation. The person is responsible for ensuring that whatever is written in the will is communicated to the concerned people and follow it through as well. This is why it is best to appoint a proper legal counsel or a third party person as your executor so that no connivance of any sorts happen in its execution. Often, there are stories of people destroying the original will and making fake ones for the sake of usurping properties.
Not just death, but illness as well
Typical human nature is that we don’t like to think of ourselves as dead or having any terminal illness, or being in a coma, etc. But a will, should, in fact, talk about all these situations. It is important to know when you are in any such situation, as to who will run the affairs and what all they can do. A legal counsel can tell you that you may even appoint a power of attorney to take care of the affairs or you can even control what line of treatments should be done for you or not etc.
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