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Old 6th November 2008, 11:18   #1
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Default Making a Will

I have a will from UK for me and my family, but know that I am in India, I want to make a new will.

What are the legal requirements for making a will?
Can I just change the details from my existing UK will and would that be legal in India?
Does it have to be on stamp paper?
I would prefer not to go to a lawyer as I heard they want to mention all my assets individually in the will. I want to keep it general as my immediate family are the only beneficiaries.
What specific points/actions need to be included for a will to be legal?
Thanks
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Old 6th November 2008, 11:44   #2
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In India, there are two things you need to do:

1. Prepare a will for assets like Land/House/Gold...
2. Add "nomination" in ALL Bank accounts, PF + Gratuity, Insurance and any other financial account.

Even if you have a will, its a major hassle to deal with financial institution in absence of nomination. In case of nominations, banks/insurance can hand over assets directly to nominee (without involving any govt agency+read tape).
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Old 6th November 2008, 11:46   #3
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Raja, PM me, I will help you out
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Old 6th November 2008, 11:47   #4
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Pssst... Himanshu, after that, PM me.

I want the car.
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Old 6th November 2008, 17:39   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by himanshugoswami View Post
Raja, PM me, I will help you out
Hi Himanshu, why not put up the information here so that others may benefit too (now or in the future)? Thanks
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Old 6th November 2008, 18:03   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post
In India, there are two things you need to do:

1. Prepare a will for assets like Land/House/Gold...
2. Add "nomination" in ALL Bank accounts, PF + Gratuity, Insurance and any other financial account.

Even if you have a will, its a major hassle to deal with financial institution in absence of nomination. In case of nominations, banks/insurance can hand over assets directly to nominee (without involving any govt agency+read tape).

So, assuming that I dont have any house/land in my name, can I do away with a will and just have nominations for all my financial assets such as Bank accounts, shares, mutual funds, PF, PPF, Insurance policies etc?

Reason for asking is that I dont have a will and have been told its quite a hassle to make one, so would love to avoid it by just nominating my heirs for the respective financial assets I own.
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Old 6th November 2008, 18:25   #7
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You would have to register the will, Registering the will adds legality to the will.

The registry is done at the sub registrar's office in your zoning area, your lawyers/real estate agents would be able to guide you to the nearest sub registrar's office.

cheers
M M
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Old 6th November 2008, 18:28   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalvaz View Post
would love to avoid it by just nominating my heirs for the respective financial assets I own.
Did not mean that.

You need to add nominations even if you have a will. Otherwise, getting access to financial assets would involve red tapes.
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Old 6th November 2008, 18:33   #9
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For reference, it would be good if any knowledgeable person could post a do's and don'ts of making a will.
I feel everyone should make a will. This leaves little doubt as to who gets what and cuts down on the heartache after you pass away.
One main point is that one should also keep updating the will; in our changing times, those who buy and sell properties, shares, etc on regular basis should keep the will up-to-date to prevent legal problems in the future.
Years ago, our parents/grandparents lived in the same house for generations and solid assets usually didn't change much (apart from Gold, which they kept on buying). The current generation moves around a lot and invests in many more items than before. One should keep a track of these assets and who they are going to be passed onto.
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Old 6th November 2008, 18:38   #10
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Raja remember, you promised to adopt me? Ill take anything you will (or wont)
Jokes apart, this will help our members and could be a learning thread for the future.
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Old 6th November 2008, 18:50   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalvaz View Post
So, assuming that I dont have any house/land in my name, can I do away with a will and just have nominations for all my financial assets such as Bank accounts, shares, mutual funds, PF, PPF, Insurance policies etc?

Reason for asking is that I dont have a will and have been told its quite a hassle to make one, so would love to avoid it by just nominating my heirs for the respective financial assets I own.
Making a will is not a hassle and can be done very easily. If you have been told it is difficult, then that information is incorrect. I say this as a lawyer.

Second, a nomination does not give ownership rights over the property. It only eases transfer of money that exists in the account of a person who dies to the account of a person nominated by the deceased. Nomination does not mean inheritance nor does it achieve the purpose of a will. You would need a document that actually says you will the money in your bank account to x,y or z. That document can be a hand written, one that is written by you even.

Questions?
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Old 6th November 2008, 19:15   #12
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Originally Posted by V-16 View Post
Raja remember, you promised to adopt me? Ill take anything you will (or wont)
Your all mine, does this mean, as your parent, I get access to your cars and properties 'now'.
You can have all that I have now when I pass away. In the current climate, you may end up with all my 'Negative Equity'

kartikkumar has been a valuable source of information and has raised many questions to me that I had not even thought about. Having lost many relatives, young and old, I feel a will should be made, especially those who have children or many assets.

Speaking to relatives in India, they feel there is a taboo about the subject of wills and inheritance. I have seen squabbles over property, in one occurrence, the children didn't even know that the father had bought a particular plot of land and only found out 2 years latter after he died! Currently stuck in court for the last 1.5 years.
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Old 11th November 2008, 19:12   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kartikkumar View Post
Making a will is not a hassle and can be done very easily. If you have been told it is difficult, then that information is incorrect. I say this as a lawyer.

Second, a nomination does not give ownership rights over the property. It only eases transfer of money that exists in the account of a person who dies to the account of a person nominated by the deceased. Nomination does not mean inheritance nor does it achieve the purpose of a will. You would need a document that actually says you will the money in your bank account to x,y or z. That document can be a hand written, one that is written by you even.

Questions?
Kartikkumar - Thanks a ton, and Yes, loads of questions.

1) Does the will need to be witnessed. If yes, how many witnesses and do they have to be unrelated?
2) Does the will need to be registered? If yes, what is the process of registering it? Where does one get a will registered? What are the registration charges? Does it vary based on the amount of assets or is it a flat rate?
3) Do I need to nominate an executor? Do I need to get his/her consent and do I need to disclose the contents of the will to him/her in advance?
4) I've heard of people contesting a will on grounds that the person was mentally unsound. Do I need to get a medical certificate attached to the will showing that I am of sound mind when making the will to prevent such occurrences?
5) Does the will need to be on stamp paper or any ordinary paper will do?
6) Assuming I do not create a will, but leave a nomination, can any of my other family members lay claim to those nominated assets?
7) How do the assets get divided if I dont leave a will? Do they get equally divided amongst my heirs? Or is there a predefined percentage based on the relation? for ex: 50% for spouse, 25% for children, 25% for parents etc...

Sorry for so many questions, but dont have any knowledge of making a will.
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Old 11th November 2008, 21:59   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kartikkumar View Post

Second, a nomination does not give ownership rights over the property. It only eases transfer of money that exists in the account of a person who dies to the account of a person nominated by the deceased. Nomination does not mean inheritance nor does it achieve the purpose of a will. You would need a document that actually says you will the money in your bank account to x,y or z. That document can be a hand written, one that is written by you even.

Questions?
Wrong.

as per the Banking Regulation Act, Nomination supercedes any inheritance, whether intestate or tesamentary.

however nomination is valid only for moveable property like bank account, FD and shares.

And while a will is pretty straight forward, there are enough intricacies involved that any half decent lawyer can exploit should there be a litigation.

for example:

1.do you need two witnesses to the will or two atttesting witnesses.
2. how can a bequest be nullified
3. can a testator control his property from the "grave".
4. does a will need to be probated. if so, is the law uniform thoughout the country?
5. what happens when part immovable property is in a Presidency town and part in elsewhere in the country?
6. what about alienation of ancestral property under a will.
7. what about the status of a Karta in an HUF vis a vis the beneficiary/executor of a will.
8. how many people know that if an executor is named in a will, the entire estate first devolves upon him, and then the onus is on him to pass it on to the beneficiaries.
9. who files for a probate?- the beneficiary or an executor.

Hence, please dont mislead anyone by oversimplifying things. it may not be in their best interests.
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Old 12th November 2008, 08:33   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by himanshugoswami View Post
Wrong.

while a will is pretty straight forward, there are enough intricacies involved that any half decent lawyer can exploit should there be a litigation.

please dont mislead anyone
Psst.. himanshu...

Kartik is a half-decent lawyer.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 12th November 2008 at 08:34.
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