Preparing Will – Basics

Testator – Person who writes the Will

Executor : The Executor (Personal Representative or executrix (female )) person (or those selected) named in a will, chosen by the deceased to taken upon the administrating the provisions of the will regarding the estate. The executor must be at least eighteen years or older, and no prior felony convictions. Most executors usually are lawyers, accountants or family member. If the deceased does not have a will, courts appoint an administrator performing the same duties as an executor but may not be best educated or suited for this appointment, besides no knowledge how the deceased preferred to dispense assets to any heirs, when a will is not written. Also, when the deceased selects their own executor, person usually knows type of memorial services the deceased preferred.  The duties of the executor begin from the time of death until the last state and federal taxes are prepared and submitted. Also, executor responsibility includes accounting assets in the estate, and final distribution to the beneficiaries.

Beneficiary – Person who benefits by the Will

Will –  A will is a document executed by a testator (person who makes the will) under which he states as to how and in what proportion he wishes his property to be divided between his heirs or to any other person to whom he wishes to bequeath his property.

Highlights:
  • Will is dealt in section 74 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925.
  • A will is not a compulsorily registrable document under section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908.
  • It must be in writing (certain exceptions area allowed); the testator must sign the will; the will must be attested (signed) by two or more witnesses.
  • Beneficiaries can’t attest witnesses to a will.
  • There is no specified format in which a will is to be made. It could be prepared in a plain sheet of paper and handwritten by the testator.
  •  No technical terms need to be used. Will should clearly mention the intentions of the testator.
  • A testator may appoint an executor under a will. It may be noted that it is advisable to appoint an executor because if, for any reason, the will is challenged, all the property bequeathed under the will shall vest, as such, in the executor until such time the will is probated (the genuineness of the will has been ascertained).
  • WILL should not be confused with Power of Attorney. WILL becomes enforceable when the testator dies. POA expires when the principal who gives power dies.
  • For those who have property worldwide, it is advisable to prepare a will for assets in each country. This way the WILL not be subjected to confusion arising from jurisdiction of courts on certain assets.

 

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