Unlike comic super heroes from DC, or “Ba” character from TV series “Kasauti Zindagi Ki” , we are all ordinary mortals. This means that we are going to hear from the almighty, some day. We all know this and therefore subscribe to Term Assurance policies, or make investments in such a way that it generates income for the surviving spouse & other dependant members of the family.

Just a decade back, it was kind of difficult to discuss the need for Term Insurance in a family. The lady of the house would often get emotional about the topic. Thankfully, the scenario is changing fast and more and more families now discuss the matter openly with their advisors.

But the same level of acceptance has not yet happened in case of WILL. It is ironical that while we worry about financial uncertainties due to death and therefore make all kind of investments with post death scenario in mind, we literally abhor the idea of writing a Will. Any discussion around a WILL is generally hushed up.

A WILL is an extremely important document and everyone must write one, 
for its duty not to leave a financial mess for our loved ones. 

A well drafted WILL is under-rated and unappreciated in the Indian society. Here are the key virtues of writing a Will:
  1. Easy & economical transfer of net-worth as per the desired wish to right full members of the family.
  2. Saves time and money by avoiding the need for Succession Certificate (for Movable assets) and Letter of Administration (for immovable assets).
  3. A Will can help create a TRUST Structure to ensure monthly income for the dependants.
  4. A Will complimented with Power of Attorney can help in a situation of terminal or critical illness, where in case of incapacitation, the executive powers can be transferred to spouse or any trusted partner.
  5. It gives a birds eye view of the entire asset holding in one document.
  6. A Will reduces the legal conflicts between family members, although cannot completely remove those. Number of Legal conflicts are rising. During recessionary phase of economy, such conflicts rise even more sharply. Just think of your extended family and friends, and you would know one or two cases where property disputes have / had arisen.

If one dies intestate (i.e. without writing a Will), the family will need to go through myriad investment records. Those investments where NOMINEE has not been registered will require a herculean task of recovering the money. There are possibilities that the family misses out on some key investment as they couldn’t be traced. There can be several other scenarios where absence of WILL can prove to be a costly affair.

Writing a Will is easy and well worth the effort. It often requires acceptance of the realities of life. There is a myth that estate planning is for super rich. Actually, every family needs to plan its estate well in advance.


By Sameer Rastogi

18 years of experience, PG in Finance and has delivered Wealth Management lectures at IIM Lucknow, IBS Gurgaon and IIPM Delhi. Contributed to various newspapers. Strength – Application of Economic fundamentals to Investment

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