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Home >Money >Personal Finance >Beneficiaries can’t attest the Will; else bequest will be termed void

Is it necessary to document the Will or is it enough to write it and give it to some trusted friend or relative?

—Ramakrishnan

Under Section 63 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, the following are the mandatory points to be complied with while making a Will:

a) The testator shall sign or affix his mark to the Will, or it shall be signed by some other person (on his behalf) in his presence and by his direction; b) The signature or mark of the testator, or the signature of the person signing for him, shall be so placed that it shall appear that it was intended thereby to give effect to the writing as a Will. c) The Will shall be attested by two or more witnesses, each of whom has seen the testator sign or affix his mark to the Will or has seen some other person sign the Will, in the presence and by the direction of the testator, or has received from the testator a personal acknowledgement of his signature or mark; and each of the witnesses will sign the Will in the presence of the testator, but it is not necessary for more than one witness to be present at the same time, and no particular form of attestation will be necessary.

The beneficiaries of your Will should not be attesting witnesses of the Will (otherwise the bequest in their favour would be void).

The wording of the Will must be such that the intentions of the testator can be known.

Further, you may register your Will under the provisions of the Indian Registration Act, 1908, though registration is not mandatory. A Will does not require to be stamped.

It is recommended that you inform the person whom you are appointing as the executor of your Will of his proposed appointment and you should inform the executor or any other trusted person of the location of your original Will so that they are aware of this and can take steps to ensure that your Will is given effect to after your death.

Marylou Bilawala is partner, Wadia Ghandy & Co. Advocates, Solicitors and Notaries.

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