It is a scary time at present and a lot of people are going through a phase of “Will I survive this epidemic?”. Lot more have approached us asking us to make Wills for them. Since we saw a lot of confusion, we decided to list out the various parts of a Will.
A Will has several parts and though there is no legal or defined format, it’s very logical and derives from common sense.
In the first paragraph, you have to declare that you are making this Will “in your full senses and free from any kind of pressure.” You have to mention your name, current address, age at the time of writing the Will so that it confirms that you really are, in full control of your senses
The next step is to provide list of items and their current values, like house, land, bank fixed deposits, postal investments, mutual funds, share certificates owned by you. You must also indicate, where all these documents are stored by you – safety locker at bank, vault at home, office safe, etc.
Even the Will should be stored in a safe place. For example, if in a bank locker, detail the procedure and rules of releasing your Will from the safe deposit after your death, after checking the process with your Bank. Or, leave it with your spouse so that they can access the Will when required. Make sure you communicate this to the executor of the Will.
At the end of the Will, you should mention who should own your asset items or in what proportion if there are divisions to be made, after you have gone. If you are giving your assets to a minor, make sure you appoint a custodian of the assets till the individual you have selected, reaches an adult age.
At the end, once you complete writing your Will, you must sign the Will very carefully in presence of at least two independent witnesses, who have to sign after your signature, certifying that you have signed the Will in their presence. The date and place, also must be indicated clearly at the bottom of the Will.
Make sure you sign all the pages of the Will at the bottom of each page. One important point while choosing witness, is that they should be your friends, neighbors, or your colleagues, perhaps younger than you and not direct beneficiaries in the Will. They only certify, that you have signed the Will in their presence, but they are not a party in making the Will in India. Make sure the Witnesses sign the will against their name in the last page.
The envelope has to be sealed after completing all the formalities and the seal must bear your signature and the date of sealing. The witnesses need not know the contents of the will nor sign on the seal of the envelope.