A lot of us write our WILLs but do not know whether it needs registration or not and there are a lot of touts in the registering authority who take grieving relatives for a ride asking them to register a dead man’s will. Leaving the ethical side of the business aside, let us first see whether registration is necessary, and if it is, what are the circumstances.
The registration of any document including WILLs are as per “The Registration Act-1908”. According to this Act, Section 17 & 18 specifies which documents need to be registered mandatorily and which documents the registration is optional.
According to the section (18 e), a WILL document falls under the category, where registration is optional. The reasons are as follows,
So basically, the law does not require the WILL to be registered.
If there is no dispute within the family about distribution of assets, and all members are amicable, then registration of a WILL is not required. However, when there is uncertainty and dispute among family members, and the assets are large and wide spread, registration of WILL is necessary to ensure that the assets are transferred correctly without any hinderances to the respective heirs and also ensures greater authenticity to the WILL document.
MIMI PARTHA SARATHY
Sinhasi Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
With regard to your WILL, we feel and suggest that there is no need of registration, if you lead a simple life AND all family members are amicable AND if your assets are mainly being given to class 1 heirs – namely your spouse and children. However, if you would like to register your will, it is fine to go ahead and register.
Recently my friend’s mother passed away and they had a handwritten will, properly signed with witnesses, and when he went to do the transfer of assets mentioned, it was rejected as it was not ‘registered’, which is not mandatory as mentioned. What can be asked for is ‘probate’ of will. Especially when family members are already grieving about loss of their loved ones, such demands cause more stress and confusion.
In this case mentioned, please remember that registration of WILL is not possible since it is after demise of the person. The respective person who has written the WILL should be MANDATORILY BE alive during the registration process.
According to us, the formalities / procedure which happened to the relatives was for “Probate of WILL” which is a procedure according to the Indian succession act 1925 for applying for succession certificate etc.
As per Indian Succession Act-1925), probate is the judicial process through which the validity and authenticity of a WILL is determined in a court of Law. WILL probate is also possible only post demise of the testator.
During the probate of the WILL, court will check & conclude only about “originality of the WILL document” and will not get into the content of the WILL and subsequent disputes if any.
Despite the WILL probate not being mandatory as per law except in the above point pertaining to Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, all financial institutions i.e Insurance companies, Banks, MF AMCs, Stockbrokers / depositories insist on probated WILL to ensure that the financial assets are getting transferred to correct persons. This has become the norm today to avoid disputes with third parties once the financial assets are transferred as per the WILL.
The distribution of assets start post the demise of the person & the following points are specifically with regard to financial assets.
Here are some important points for the correct transfer of your assets and for registering and probate of WILLs:
Sinhasi has been helping people execute their last will and testaments since 2003. Reach out to us for your estate planning and Will preparation so that basis your nominations and joint holders in your investments we ensure that no one suffers.
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