A Will is a legal document, by which one’s desires after his death can be performed. It is basically a document, whereby the property can be disposed of according to one’s liking, after his death. Else, in its absence, the property is inherited by the legal heirs according to the local laws of inheritance. In India, Hindu Succesion Act, 1956 deals with the matter of Inheritance among Hindus and Indian Succession Act, 1925 is applicable to others, except Muslims. ‘Will’ is defined under section 2(h) of the Indian Succession Act, 1925 as the legal declaration of the intention of a testator with respect to his property which he desires to be carried into effect after his death. The most important characteristic of a Will, is its revokable nature. The person who makes the Will is called ‘Testator’. Essentials of Will are as under :
- Must be in writing.
- It need not be on Stamp Paper.
- No particular form or language, but language should be simple, which can be understood by layman even.
- Handwritten Will in Testator’s handwriting is also acceptable, if its legible. Though typed Will is desirable.
- Testator should indicate that the Will is made voluntarily.
- Will should provide for appointment of Executor and schedule of properties.
- Most importantly, the Will should be signed by the Testator and attested by atleast two witnesses.
- Lastly, Registration of Will is not compulsory.
Ofcourse, Registration of a Will is not compulsory but it is desirable. Because a registered Will is kept in Safe Custody at the Office of the Registrar and therefore cannot be tampered with, destrotyed, or lost as can’t be accessed except under written permission. A Will is required to be registered at the office of the Sub-Registrar. The Witness need to acWill the Testator. But in case of incapacity of the Testator, the Registrar is required to visit the Testator’s place on a special application made in this behalf.