Through our blogs, we have been guiding you through the do’s and don'ts of writing a Will and this time we are covering a very crucial aspect that should be on your mind while writing it. Well, it is not a disputed position of law that a Will can be challenged even after its registration, and your task should not be to write a Will mindlessly but keeping in mind all the parameters that could be a blocker in serving your purpose.
Anyone writes a Will majorly for three reasons:
- Your hard-earned wealth shall not go to waste.
- The right person shall become your beneficiary.
- To ease out the legal process of claiming your assets after your death and make your beneficiaries' lives easier.
In this article, we are covering a very important aspect that many people do but are unaware of the after effects and long court procedures. While it is at your discretion to whom you will give your property, if your beneficiaries do not comprise your legal heirs, then it creates a chance of suspicion, and it gets very hard to prove the genuineness of the Will in court by your beneficiary, to whom you ultimately want to benefit.
It is important to make sure that if you’re excluding all your legal heirs or some of them, make sure to write the reason of exclusion or disposition in your Will because in such a case, it gets easier to prove the genuineness and validity of the Will. Since it is a mandatory requirement to write a Will with a sound mind and through free will and not under any undue influence or coercion, it is important to take care of the legal language of your Will.
Since a Will is a very sensitive and delicate document, and in ordinary circumstances, it is very unusual to exclude all your legal heirs or even some of them without giving any reasoning regarding the same, making some other person your beneficiary raises a ground for challenging the Will by those legal heirs only. Let’s understand this in light of some of the actual cases in India:
- In the case of Sunkamma vs. H. Ramayya Reddy and Ors., the testator gave all the property to his grandsons, excluding his second wife and 2 daughters without any reasons. During the evidence, it was nowhere proved that his second wife already had various other properties or that any of his daughters had a sour relationship with their father. The second wife filed this case for possession of her share of property by challenging the Will as not genuine and valid, and she succeeded, as the court granted her possession of her share of the property.
- Whereas in the case of Ms. Anita Bishnu vs. State Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Ors., the very fact that the testator (a person who writes the Will) specified reasons for excluding his legal heirs for very valid reasons was appreciated by the court, and the Will was considered to be valid and genuine. For reference, the excerpt from the judgment is given below:
"The reasons to exclude his five legal heirs from succeeding to the suit property have been succinctly spelt out by the Testator in the Will in question. The reason to exclude Plaintiff - Deepak Kumar is clearly stated in the Will in question as the Testator had found Plaintiff - Deepak Kumar to be rude, disobedient and wayward and has no help to him. Since the Testator had legitimately expected that his son Ashok Kumar can on his own establish himself in life, therefore, he had reposed confidence in him and has made him an Attesting Witness to this Will, as Manisha daughter of the Testator was married and well settled in her life in Calcutta, so she was excluded and the reason to exclude his another daughter Sona was that she was in Government Service and he was not worried about her………..”
Therefore, do not forget to mention the reasons if you’re excluding any of your legal heirs, especially the immediate family. We at AasaanWill help you out to write a Will covering all the legal aspects of succession planning . AasaanWill. Zaroori Hai!