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8 common Estate Planning Queries related to wills

8 common Estate Planning Queries related to wills

One should endeavor to make an error-free will to minimize the risk of disputes in the family. Here are 8 common Estate Planning queries answered related to wills.

    • Is it compulsory to register a will?
      No, there is no legal requirement to register a will. It is optional.  And it does not even need to be written on a stamp paper or be notarized.
    • Can a registered will be challenged in a court of law?
      Registering a will does not lend it any legal sanctity or remove suspicion about its validity. Hence, It can be challenged in a court of law. The grounds on which a will can be contested include –

                    -> Fraud/forgery/coercion,
                    -> Undue influence,
                    -> Lack of due execution,
                    -> Lack of testamentary intention,
                    -> Lack of testamentary capacity,
                    -> Lack of knowledge and approval, and revocation.

    • If it’s not compulsory to register a will and it can still be challenged, why should I register it?
      You should do it as it has a greater authenticity than a nonregistered will. If the testator gets it registered personally, it proves the genuineness of the will and considerably reduces the grounds on which it can be contested in court.
    • What if no executor has been appointed?
      If the testator fails to list an executor in the will, an administrator is appointed by a competent court to manage the testator’s estate after the grant of letter of administration.
    • Can I list and pass on ancestral property in the will?
      Ancestral property is one that is four generations old, which means it has been passed on to heirs for three generations. An heir has no right over the entire ancestral property and can will only his share of the property. It will be illegal if he wills the property before acquiring his share in it.
    • If I have nominees for movable assets, do I still need a will?
      Yes, a will overrides nomination because as per law, a nominee of an immovable property is only a trustee or caretaker till the court decides who is entitled to the property as per succession laws, and will be legally bound to transfer the property to the legal heirs.
    • Should a will be hand-written or typed?
      It can be either typed or handwritten, but it is advisable to have a hand-written one because it is easier to prove its genuineness by confirming the testator’s handwriting, and making it difficult to refute it.
    • What is the tax implication for a beneficiary if the asset is gifted or willed?
      As per Section 56 (2), if any asset is gifted to certain specified relatives during the testator’s lifetime. There is no tax liability for the beneficiary. Similarly, any asset that is willed or inherited by the beneficiary is free of tax.

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