Why Write a Will at all?
If one dies without making a will (‘intestate’ in legal parlance), his wealth is inherited by the heirs according to the inheritance laws. The law of succession applies based on the religion of the deceased. Since laws of marriage and succession are the most intricate among the religious laws, inheritance issues in India are complicated. In case of more than one heir, distribution of assets can lead to family disputes.
A common misconception is that all the estate is automatically passed on to the spouse. It could be worse because children and sometimes even relatives can stake a claim to the property. Laws of inheritance and succession are different in case of Hindus and Muslims.
Another point one should consider is the inconvenience caused to family members because of the laziness, in not making a will for them. In case of a dispute, the family members have to produce the proof about their relationship and also have to go helter-skelter to lawyers and spent money and energy.
Who Can Make a Will?
Every person who is of sound mind can make a will. Persons who are deaf or dumb or blind can also make a will provided they are able to know/ understand the consequences of their actions. A person who is ordinarily insane may make a will during the interval(s) in which he/she is of sound mind. Nothing prevents a prisoner from drawing a will.
No person can make a will while he is in a state of mind – whether arising from intoxication (drunken state) or from illness or from any other cause(s) – where he does not know what he is doing. be signed by some other person in his presence and by his direction. shall appear that it was intended thereby to give effect to the writing as a will.