About Will

Why Everyone Should Write a WILL

In today’s times writing a WILL is as important a duty as earning a livelihood, constructing a house or taking life insurance policy on the bread winner. Making a WILL costs minimum or even nothing at all. It is a solemn duty and leaving behind a property is no good if the same has to be passed on to unintended beneficiaries or get entangled in avoidable litigation in the absence of a WILL which may have well been made easily.

Contrary to the misconceptions an unregistered WILL holds equal weight as a registered one. But the same has to be witnessed by atleast two witnesses who can testify that the same was signed in their presence in sound mental health out of free consent by the maker. However registered WILLs are always preferable for the credence and legal safeguards which accompany the same. Executing and registering the WILLs is not at all an expensive or tedious process.

Shear laziness and carelessness coupled with ignorance are the primary causes which normally prevent otherwise responsible family members from registering a WILL. Here we address the issue by educating about what happens to the property of a Hindu male situated in India if he does not leave behind a WILL.

Properties of a Hindu male are broadly of two types:- firstly self- earned or acquired by self- effort & labour and secondly inherited from ancestors. Hindu law handles the two types of property differently and distribution of all the properties of a Hindu is primarily governed by the Hindu Succession Act. But instead of introducing complications in our informative write up, we shall discuss a simple case here.

Illustration- how the Property shall Devolve if no Will is made by a Hindu Male having both Inherited and Self Acquired Property.

Person ‘A’ is a Hindu male who has Property worth 30% inherited at the time of partition of ancestral property amongst his father, mother, brother and himself. ‘A’ has 70% more which he acquired with his own earnings. He has a wife, a daughter, a son and both his parents are still alive. He dies without making a WILL. His property will be distributed in the following manner.

  1. The inherited 30% – His wife, son, daughter, mother will each get ¼ th share i.e 7.5% each.

  1. The self acquired 70%- His wife, son, daughter, mother will each get ¼ th share i.e 17.5% each.

One would notice here that in the absence of a WILL- wife, children whether son or daughter, and mother if alive at the time of death of ‘A’ get an equal share.

In case he had made a WILL his self acquired property i.e 70% could have gone to any person(s) whom he desired as per the share mentioned in the WILL. It is also to be noticed here that inherited property 30% has to be distributed equally amongst the wife, son and daughter if they so demand.

Illustration- how the Property shall Devolve if no Will is made by a Hindu Female having both Inherited and Self Acquired Property under amended Hindu Succession Act.

Person ‘A’ is a Hindu female who has Property worth 30% inherited at the time of partition of ancestral property amongst his father, mother, brother, sister and himself. ‘A’ has 70% more which she acquired with her own earnings. She has a husband, a daughter, a son and both her parents are still alive. She dies without making a WILL. Her property will be distributed in the following manner.

  1. The Inherited 30% – Distributed in equal shares to all her children to the exclusion of her parents and her parents i.e 50% each to her son and daughter.

  1. The Self Acquired 70%– Distributed in equal shares to all her children to the exclusion of her parents and her parents i.e 50% each to her son and daughter.

One would notice here that in the absence of a WILL- only children get all the property to the exclusion of surviving husband and parents.

In case she had made a WILL, her property could have gone to any person(s) whom she desired as per the share mentioned in the WILL.

Illustration- how the Property shall Devolve if no Will is Made by a Hindu Male having only Self Acquired Property

Person ‘A’ is a Hindu male who has no inherited property but has self- acquired property i.e 100%. He has a wife, a daughter, a son and both his parents are still alive. He dies without making a WILL. His property will be distributed equally amongst his mother, wife, son and daughter. In case his mother or wife are pre deceased then all his property will go to all his sons and daughters in equal shares including the children of the pre deceased sons or daughters who would take equal to the share their parents if alive would have taken.

One would notice here that in the absence of a WILL- wife, children whether son or daughter and mother or wife if alive at the time of death of ‘A’ get an equal share.

In case he had made a WILL his self acquired property could have gone to any person(s) whom he desired as per the share mentioned in the WILL.

However, if a WILL is made, the entire property of the deceased Hindu person whether male or female which is covered under the WILL could be passed on to even third parties to the exclusion of all others. It is also for this reason that every person must make a WILL, since there have been large number of cases where third parties both within and outside the family have put up claims after the death of a person.

In order to ensure smooth transfer of the self- acquired property to the desired persons, each individual above the age of 18 years, who has inherited or self -acquired assets in his name, must make a WILL.

This web site provides an easy to use draft WILL. However, in case of any complications or queries, the user can use “contact us form” given on the web site for a personal interaction including chat with an advocate.