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Arjuna (Fictional Character): Krishna, What is “Will”?

Krishna (Fictional Character): Arjuna, Today separated families are increasing. In this era all are running behind money. Therefore wherever there is wealth, problem arises. The life of the person goes in attending the court cases and rivalry between closed once increase which affects upcoming generation also. To avoid all these things and to bring peace and affection between closed once, documented written “Will” should be prepared detailing disposition of wealth. In the “Will” the will preparer mentions about disposition of wealth to whom and how much. Wealth is distributed after his death as stated in the “Will”. If “Will” is not prepared then the wealth is distributed as per Hindu Succession Act.         

Arjuna: Krishna, who can prepare a “Will”?

Krishna: Arjuna, every person of sound mind and above age of 18 years and having his own wealth can make “Will”. The “Will” prepared before marriage gets cancelled after marriage, so fresh “Will” should be prepared after marriage. Further the wealth mentioned in the “Will” must be earned and owned by the will preparer.

Arjuna: What precautions one should take while preparing “Will”?

Krishna: The “Will” should be drafted in a simple, clear and unambiguous language. The language of the “Will” should not be complicated and confusing. The “Will” should specifically mention that it is prepared voluntarily with sound mind and to avoid misunderstandings and quarrels between the relatives after death of the will preparer. Further “Will” should give brief history of the family. The list of movable and immovable property should be prepared, specifying which asset to be given to whom. An arrangement can be made in the “Will” to dispose of wealth to family members, relatives, friends or other organizations also. In “Will” how to dispose the parts of the body can also be mentioned. If in “Will” certain members have given wealth, then reason for not giving wealth to other, members should be mentioned. Further will preparer should obtain legal opinion while drafting “Will”.    

Arjuna: Krishna, now tell me about signature, witness, registration of the “Will”?

Krishna: Arjuna, after mentioning the details of movable and immovable properties the will preparer will have to make sign on every page of the “Will” clearly, in front of the witness. The witness to the will should not be the closed relative. Witness generally should be younger than the will preparer. If unfortunately the witness dies then new “Will” should be prepared. For executing the “Will” the will preparer should appoint executor of the will. It is not necessary to prepare the “Will” on the stamp paper or get it registered. The “Will” can be made on normal paper. However, it always beneficial to register the “Will” as registered will cannot be tampered destroyed, secrecy of the will is maintained, it remains in safe custody and it is issued after death of will preparer. If will preparer desires to give his wealth to any organization or religious institution then it is required to register the “Will”.       

Arjuna: Krishna, is income tax levied on the assets transferred, income earned on the assets transferred through “Will”?

Krishna: Arjuna, Income tax is not levied on the assets transferred through “Will”. However if income is earned on the assets received through “Will” then it will taxable. The “Will” can also be used as a tax planning tool.

Arjuna: What one should learn from this concept of “Will”?

Krishna: Arjuna, many people didn’t find worthwhile to prepare “Will”. They did not feel its necessity. Many think that it will be prepared at the old age. However in this Kalyug it is difficult to predict the life span. Therefore it is necessary to plan for disposition of wealth. To maintain healthy relations between closed ones preparing “Will” is today’s requirement. The will preparer should consider family members while preparing the “Will”. Further the one who have not received share or has received a lesser share through the “Will” in the wealth should not get angry or jealous on the others and should create his own wealth. A human spends his life for earning and giving happiness however after death the same earning becomes reason of unhappiness for others. One requires Will power to prepare a "Will".

Dear Karniti Lovers, your valuable comments please.

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Category Income Tax, Other Articles by - CA Umesh Sharma 



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