Crafting Distinct Wills for Each Property: A Legal Insight into the Indian Context

Drafts & Formats,general,property-law
Crafting Distinct Wills for Each Property: A Legal Insight into the Indian Context


When it comes to estate planning, the question often arises whether it is legally viable to craft separate wills for different assets or properties you own. This query gains significance, especially in the Indian legal context, where laws governing wills and inheritance can be complex due to the diversity of religious and customary laws. This blog post aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the matter, and guide you through the legal landscape in India surrounding wills and estate planning.

Table of Contents

  1. What Constitutes a Will in India
  2. The One-Will Approach for Assets in India
  3. Scenario: Assets in Multiple Jurisdictions
  4. What to Consider When Creating a Will
  5. The Complications of Multiple Wills
  6. Conclusion

1. What Constitutes a Will in India

In India, a will is a legal document that outlines how a person’s assets will be distributed after their demise. Governed by the Indian Succession Act of 1925, and sometimes religious laws, a will in India is valid if it is properly executed, signed, and attested by two or more witnesses.

2. The One-Will Approach for Assets in India

According to Indian law, if all the assets that are proposed to be bequeathed under the testamentary instrument are held within the Indian territory, then it’s advisable to prepare a single will. The executors of the will must then take appropriate steps to obtain the probate, if applicable, from the relevant court.

Probate and Its Importance

Probate is the judicial process through which a will is “proved” in a court of law and accepted as a valid document that is the true last testament of the deceased. It is an essential step in many Indian states and ensures that the asset distribution happens according to the will’s stipulations.

3. The Complications of Multiple Wills

Creating multiple wills for different assets within India can lead to significant challenges:

  • Risk of Invalidity: Multiple wills may clash with each other, leading to legal complexities that can result in them being declared invalid.
  • Confusion: Having different wills can lead to confusion among the executors and beneficiaries, making the probate process cumbersome and long-drawn.

4. Scenario: Assets in Multiple Jurisdictions

If you possess assets in countries outside India, it’s advisable to draft a will specific to each jurisdiction. This is beneficial because:

  • Smooth Succession: Each country has its own set of laws regarding inheritance and wills. A jurisdiction-specific will can simplify the legal process for your heirs.
  • Avoiding Legal Complications: A will crafted according to the laws of the jurisdiction where the asset is located is less likely to face legal hurdles during the probate process.

5. What to Consider When Creating a Will

  • Legal Advice: Always consult with a legal expert to ensure your will adheres to the latest laws and regulations.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Make sure to include all assets, big or small, in your will to avoid disputes later.
  • Appointing Executors: Choose trustworthy and capable individuals who can carry out your last wishes effectively.

6. Conclusion

In the Indian context, crafting separate wills for each property you own is generally not recommended due to the risk of invalidity and confusion it may cause. However, if you have assets in multiple jurisdictions, creating separate wills for each can be a prudent approach. Estate planning is an intricate process that requires careful thought and legal guidance. It is always advisable to consult a qualified legal professional to assist you in this crucial task.By understanding the legal nuances involved in crafting a will, you can make informed decisions that ensure a smooth transition of your assets to your chosen heirs.

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