A will is a legal document through which a person decides how their property and other assets will be distributed and allocated after their death. It can be made by the person themselves (called the testator) or by a lawyer acting on the instructions of the testator.
A will can be made by a person of sound mind, over the age of 18, at any point in their lifetime. For a will to be valid:
The testator should sign or affix their mark on the will, for example thumb impression.
The will must be attested by two or more witnesses and these witnesses should have seen the testator sign or affix their mark onto the document. Each of the witnesses should have signed the will in presence of the testator.
The witnesses should not be beneficiaries under the will, that is, someone who is being given property or other assets under that will.
The document should specify that:
it is the last will executed by the testator
it is made and consented to by the testator with free will
It is made in a sound state of mind
It will come into force after the death of the testator
it is revocable at any time according to the testator’s wishes.
The will should list down the properties and assets, both tangible and intangible, owned by the testator, in the form of a schedule annexed to it. The will should include the details of the family members or other persons among whom the property is being distributed. The will should state the name of the executor (the person/institution who is the legal representative responsible for carrying out the distribution of assets of the testator), with the details of their age and address, along with the executor’s relationship to the testator. The properties are to be bequeathed to each person according to the will of the testator correlating clearly with the item numbers mentioned against the property in the schedule annexed. Finally, the signature of the testator along with the date and place of the execution of the will should be specified.
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