Till a few years back, people used to feel uncomfortable discussing inheritance and estate planning issues and hence tasks like preparing a will etc. were postponed for the future till the time it became inevitable to do so. Not anymore. Clients are now aware of the fact that postponing the inevitable only makes the job difficult; and the difficulties the family would have to face in absence of a will if the breadwinner were to die all of a sudden. As a result, today most of the certified financial planners have included estate planning in their scope of practice.
What is estate planning?
Estate planning is the nothing but a legal way in which a person indicates/instructs how his wealth should be distributed and managed after his death. This is done by the preparation of a will for the same.
How is a will prepared?
Any person of sound mind and above 18 years of age can prepare his or her will. It can be a simple handwritten one or can be prepared with legal assistance.
What are the different types of will?
A will can be of different types-
- Individual will – Most common, written by an individual.
- Holographic will – written in own handwriting.
- Conditional will- depends on the occurrence of an event/meeting of certain conditions.
- Joint will – made by 2 or more people jointly.
- Oral will- made orally.
Importance of making a will
By making a will, a person’s intentions regarding distribution of his assets are clear and it leaves no room for any controversies, questions and fights over property. A will assumes more importance in certain special cases like when a person wants to leave a part of his assets to someone outside the family, has disabled children, is divorced, or in some cases doesn’t want his legal hears to inherit his wealth.