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Legal Will is considered as a legal agreement that determines the right of the testator to declare his property to the rightful owners after his demise. In the will there will be an executor, also known as the executrix who has the right to distribute the property as per the rightful directions of the testator. It is crucial to consider proper legal advice before drafting the will.

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  • Procedure for drafting a legal will
  • Agreement drafting process
  • Alterations after reviewing
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Legal Will- An Overview

A legal will or a will determines the rights and liabilities of the testator to distribute the properties to the beneficiaries. First and foremost, it is important to understand the role of parties in drafting the will. The testator is the individual who drafts the will and includes all the rights and responsibilities. The executor is also known as the executrix who has the right to dispose the properties to the rightful beneficiary.

What are the parties in a Legal Will?

The following are the parties in a legal will:

What are the parties in a Legal Will
  • Testator
  • Beneficiaries
  • Executor
  • Trustee
  • Legal Guardian
  • Testator

    This individual is known as the testator. Such individual would have to draft the will and has the right to distribute assets to the beneficiaries.

  • Beneficiaries

    Beneficiaries would include the individuals who have been named in the will for the rightful distribution of properties and assets. Beneficiaries can be either partnership firms, companies, individuals and NGOs.

  • Executor

    On death of the testator, the executor would have the right to call and distribute the properties to the rightful beneficiaries. Executor is also known as an executrix.

  • Trustee

    Trustee would usually be an individual to manage the trust property for the benefit of the beneficiary. In case the testator dies then if there is a period of time till the distribution of assets, the trustee would come into picture to manage the property and assets.

  • Legal Guardian

    In case there are some forms of minor children, then the legal guardian would be named to take care of the minor children till they attain majority.

Main Law for a Will in India

The main law that regulates a will in India would be the provisions of the Indian Succession Act 1925 which would apply to all testaments related to a will produced by the testator.

As per Section 2(h) of Indian Succession Act, 1925 defines a will as a declaration which is legal in character with respect to the individual’s assets and property, which he desires to, take effect after his death.

This is something more like an individual’s intention to carry out certain responsibilities after the death of the individual. The main intention of the party is to be carried out through this will after the death. All the possessions with the testator would pass to the individuals would be considered in the will. Hence will is a crucial document which has to be prepared as per the requirements of the testator.

Benefits of Making a Will

The following are the benefits of making a will:

Benefits of Making a Will
  • Transition between Individuals
  • Choice
  • Provides Time
  • Transition between Individuals

    Will is the only legal document which provides an effective transition after the death of the testator. The assets would be distributed as per the requirements of the testator.

  • Choice

    The testator through the will has the rightful choice to transfer the assets to the rightful beneficiary. Through this any form of disputes related to the property or assets can be avoided between the beneficiaries.

  • Provides Time

    Usually once the will is planned and well decided, it would take only about three to four days to draft the same. Lot of thought is taken when drafting a will.

Who is capable of making a legal will?

Making a will is technically like drafting a contract. However, the main intention of only one party is utilised in drafting a will. Under the Indian Succession Act, the provisions of a will would be operative. The following are capable of drafting a will:

  • An individual with sound mind.
  • An individual with capacity.
  • An individual who is not a minor.
  • A woman who is married and does not suffer any form of disabilities.
  • Any individual who is deaf, dumb or blind would also be able to make a will. However, the individual would have to understand the contents of the will in order to be operative.
  • If a person is insane, then the person or individual would be able to make a legal will during periods of sanity. During periods of insanity a legal will cannot be made or drafted.

What are the kinds of will?

The following are the types of will which can be prepared:

What are the kinds of will
  • Unprivileged will
  • Privileged will
  • Contingent or Conditional Will
  • Joint Will
  • Concurrent Will
  • Mutual Will
  • Duplicate Will
  • Unprivileged Will

    Usually this form of will would include that the property and assets of the party would be dispersed as per the requirement of the testator.

  • Privileged Will

    Usually this form of legal will would be prepared by people or individuals in the army, or navy or defence.

  • Contingent or Conditional Will

    From the name of the above, a contingent will or a conditional will is a will that is prepared by an individual that usually has a condition or a contingency. A condition or contingency is usually a happening of a particular event. The will would be operative only on the happening of a particular event.

  • Joint Will

    Usually in this form of legal will would be prepared by two or more testators having their right s related to the will.

  • Concurrent Will

    Usually this is a form of legal will which is prepared by the testator.

  • Mutual Will

    Usually this form of legal will would be prepared and executed by a married couple during their marriage to declare their rights. After the death of one party, the other party would be bound to the provisions of the mutual will.

  • Duplicate Will

    A Duplicate will would be prepared in duplicate to have the contents of the original will.

What are the main elements of a legal will?

Some of the main elements of a legal will are as follows:

  • The testator or the creator of the will must be more than 18 years of age. This means the testator must be a major.
  • Capacity of the individual must be present while drafting the will. This capacity is known as the testamentary capacity that the will is written out of the own accord of the individual.
  • Any testament or statement related to the will must be included in the legal will document.
  • The executor must be appointed by the testator during making the will.
  • If the property, estates or assets of the testator have to be managed, then the testator must appoint a trustee to manage the property or the assets for the beneficiary.
  • If a minor has to be managed, then the testator must also appoint a legal guardian to take care of the minor, until attaining the age of majority.
  • If the legal will is not written by you, then your signature has to be present in the will in presence of two or more witnesses.
  • All the provisions related to creating the will must be in compliance with the Indian Succession Act, 1925.

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