Indians have a huge apathy – lack of interest – उदासीनता – in writing their own will. One prime reason for this apathy is we Indians actually hear “death” when the word “will” is uttered.
Just to give you a measurable impact of the size of this apathy –
- There are more than 3.5 crore cases of succession pending in various courts in India
- There are more than Rs. 64000 crores worth of fixed deposits lying unclaimed in various banks, being auto renewed every year or so.
All the above because somebody did not create his / her will.
Maybe, we are too busy slogging and switching jobs for fatter pay cheques. We spend all of our time planning real estate purchases and creating wealth through stocks and gold. Isn’t all of these efforts partly aimed at leaving behind a rich legacy for our loved ones? You need to bequeath it to someone, preferably through a proper will.
However the reality is that most of us are least bothered to even think of writing a will. We are both ignorant and lethargic about it.
Here I am making an attempt to get you to action on a very important and serious chapter in financial planning – WILL WRITING
In the absence of a will, your property gets distributed equally among your heirs according to the succession law of your religion. The law wouldn’t know that you wanted to leave more money for your not-so-well-to-do son who is yet to settle in life. The law wouldn’t know if you wanted to leave something for the old age home where your childhood friends were put up by their children. There is no way the law would know what you wanted to happen to your wealth after you.
The only way is to write your will.
Creating wealth is one aspect of financial planning . It is complete only when you get to decide what happens to your accumulated wealth after your death. It is important to have a wealth succession plan in place whilst you are still ticking. What is the best way to do it? The smoothest way is leaving behind a will to ensure that the final allocation of your wealth happens according to your wishes only.
Why write a will?
Most of us are likely to think that only the rich and the famous need to write their wills. In fact they are equally ignorant, the best example being our own industry big shot Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani – he didn’t bother to create his will too. And even the famous bollywood star Rajesh Khanna!
A proper succession planning is important. It ensures that wealth is transferred to people you choose, that the interests of the weak or of minors are provided for, that your wealth is distributed without any family disputes and that your wealth is transferred to trusted people who will respect what you have accomplished.
A will is a testament that declares the intention of the person with regard to his wealth and property which he wants to be executed after his death. If one dies without making a will (called ‘intestate’ in legal parlance), his wealth is inherited by the heirs according to the inheritance laws. Since laws of marriage and succession are the most intricate among the religious laws, inheritance issues in India are very complicated and often end up in courts. Whenever more than one legal heir is involved, most often there are disputes.
If you want only your spouse to get all your properties after you, you should still write a will mentioning this very clearly.
All the assets do not automatically get transferred to the deceased’s spouse. The applicable succession laws (depending on religion) usually provide for distribution of the assets among the natural heirs, which includes other relatives in addition to the spouse.
Whether it’s a son drawing a huge amount as salary or a daughter who is still pursuing her studies, both of them get a fixed portion of your wealth when the laws of succession come into play. A will offers you the option to give more to your daughter if she needs support. Even if you plan to distribute your wealth equally among all your heirs, you should write a will to that effect to avoid disputes among your family members and make the transition of wealth easier.
A will does not only distribute wealth; it can also offer responsibilities. Who will take care of your children in absence of you and your spouse? Should they be raised by your sister who is in a financial mess or you want your elder brother to take care of them? One can write a will appointing a trusted person as the guardian of their children when neither of the parents survives.
There are more details to this process than can be discussed here. However, writing a will is much easier now than ever before, especially with our financial services at Wealth Unlimited (8888808580).
So if you belong to the majority of people who haven’t planned their succession yet, it’s time to sit down, collect your thoughts and write your will. Make sure that your assets and wealth are put to best use even after you are gone. Stop procrastinating and get in touch. Be responsible for the life of your loved ones even when you are gone forever.