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Home >Money >Personal Finance >A Will’s executor can also be appointed without lawyer’s help

My sister, an issueless Hindu widow, wants the house and bank deposits currently in her name to be transferred in my favour after her demise either by way of gift or through a Will. Kindly advise which mode of transfer—gift, Will or any other—is best and the procedure, including the registration process and tax implications. Also, can her only surviving brother-in-law claim any right over the property and bank deposits after my sister’s demise?

—Name withheld on request

Based on the information provided, it is advisable to have your sister’s properties transferred in your favour during her lifetime to avoid complexities of vesting after her demise. This is to avoid any issue if she passes away without making a Will, and her properties under the provisions of Hindu Succession Act, 1956, would devolve upon the heirs of her late husband. The properties of your sister may be transferred in your favour by executing and registering a gift deed. Stamp duty will apply as per laws of the state where the properties are located. It is advisable to get the tax implications evaluated by a tax professional.

I would like to have a format of a legal Will. Also, can I make a registered Will and appoint an executor by myself without taking the services of a lawyer for it.

—Nikhil Sikka

There is no standard format for a Will. What is required is that the author or the person desirous of making the Will should write down his wishes in respect of all his properties in an unambiguous manner to rule out any issue or dispute between beneficiaries after the testator’s demise. It is imperative to have two independent witnesses to the execution of the Will. Although, it is advisable to register the Will for better credibility, the same is not mandatory under law.

With regard to the appointment of an executor, one can appoint an executor by himself and there is no legal requirement of a lawyer for the same.

Aradhana Bhansali is partner, Rajani Associates.

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