India Markets closed

How to ensure smooth and undisputed transition of your assets: 5 easy steps to write a Will

Amitava Chakrabarty
Will, Will writing, financial assets, transition of financial assets, registration of house property, Power of Attorney, NOC, property dispute

Abhik Mukherjee (name changed) has no siblings, but is still facing problem in getting the house property-bought by his father-registered in his name. The root of the problem is the tittle of the property, which Abhik’s father, out of respect, bought on Power of Attorney in his father’s name.

With both his grand father (in whose name the Power of Attorney papers were made) and father (who paid for the property and had signed the challans and many other documents) being no more, Abhik is treated as a third party by the town planning authorities and he is now running from pillar to post to get the property registered in his name. However, the concerned authorities have refused to transfer the property unless he produces No Objection Certificates (NOC) from all the legal heirs.

"Taking advantage of the situation, my uncles are not giving their NOC and are asking for share in the property despite no role of theirs in purchase of the property," says Abhik.

Abhik is not the only person, who is facing such problem. According to the 2016 report of Daksh; an NGO which analyses the performance of the judiciary, 76 per cent of civil cases are due to property and family disputes.

"A Will would have the solution to the problem as it clearly mentions who will get the property, so there would be no need of NOC," said Abhik.

A Will is the last and most potent step in financially securing a family's future. It is a legal document with directions on the distribution of wealth and assets at the death of the asset holder.

Will writing is often looked upon as a difficult initiative as people commonly associate it with myths like long drawn interactions with lawyers, high cost as well as it being a time intensive activity. However, the challenges which build up owing to its absence are only experienced post the demise of the owner. A Will allows a smooth and speedy transition of the wealth to the next generation; rooting out unnecessary confusion and disputed claims by family members.

Must Watch – ITR 2019: What details to check before submitting ITR form?

Anjali Malhotra, Chief Customer, Marketing, Digital and IT Officer, Aviva Life Insurance offers five easy steps to a write a Will and secure your family financially for the future.

1. Identify your assets and debts

Before starting to write the Will, it is imperative to list down all the assets, liabilities, and investments one has accumulated over the years. Lack of information or the absence of it will make the Will incomplete and would defeat the very purpose of making the Will. Create a record sheet for increased accuracy and transparency in wealth management.

2. Make a checklist of beneficiaries

A Will eliminates any discussion on who gets what. It is even more vital for those who have financial dependents. The document should include the dictates of distribution which are followed without any intervention by third parties, making unnecessary claims. In the presence of a Will, family members and friends receive their entitled share without facing much hassle.

3. Choose an executor

Assigning an executor is important, as this is the person who will ensure that the dictates in the Will are smoothly executed. One can opt for a professional executor or a trusted friend/family member. This choice requires a little cautiousness as the onus of the distribution process stays with the executor.

4. Make a valid Will

Writing a Will does not require any form or paper, but one must ensure that it is legally valid. The pre-requisites of a Will include clear instructions on wealth management, a declaration stating one's mental stability and no external pressure in creating the Will. The document should be signed in the presence of two adults as a witness.

5. Keep the Will safe

Finally, once the Will is created, it is important to keep it safely. The legacy plan should not be discussed and showed to anyone. It is suggested to make few copies of the document to avoid loss or damage of the document.