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Where there’s a will

Where there’s a will
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First Published: Mon, Aug 06 2007. 12 27 AM IST
Updated: Mon, Aug 06 2007. 12 27 AM IST
You needn’t execute one on stamp paper. Even if a will is written on a plain A4-sized sheet, it’s good legally. And it needn’t be typed either. You can prepare one in your own handwriting. If you forget to notarize the will or get it attested by your lawyer, don’t worry—as long as it bears the signatures of two witnesses—even if neither is a lawyer—the document cannot be challenged in court. There’s a catch here—make sure the witnesses aren’t the beneficiaries.
When you write a will, make sure you mention very unambiguously how you would like your assets to be distributed. A will need not be written in legal language—regular English is good enough. And nothing in Indian law forces you to bequeath all your assets to your family or, in their absence, your relatives. You can give your money and property to anyone you wish. Only remember that a nominee and a beneficiary aren’t always the same person. So, if you nominated someone in your life insurance policy, but have not named the person a beneficiary in your will, the individual doesn’t become the owner of the sum assured upon your death. The person can only collect the amount on behalf of your legal heirs and must distribute the money to them in accordance with your last wishes.
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First Published: Mon, Aug 06 2007. 12 27 AM IST