When to make your Will?

This is a most difficult topic for most Indian households and oft ignored. I yesterday went to a friend’s place and he had called up a LIC agent to his home. I distinctly recollect that they talked in a very hush’ed tone, because he was discussing about how much money his family will get post his death. It was obvious that discussing death and money together is still taboo in Indian society and hence the same goes with making a will.
I think most people know what is will and it’s importance but still probably I reckon that 90% of Indian household never discuss this topic. I believe majority of Indians die without making any will, causing major dispute among legal heirs post any death.
It is so simple to make a will in India and so important especially with legal recourse taking many years that everyone should definitely have gone through this process. It is important to note that  assigning nominations alone does not help and a will is very important.
So when should a person make a will?

The question is never answered appropriately. As per the Indian Law, any person above 21 years of age can make a legally valid will. But the key point before deciding on making a will is to think about :
  1. A sudden death is more probable in today’s fast paced life. So don’t think that you will not die till 80 years of age.
  2. If you die intestate (without making will), your legal heirs are not only your spouse/children. Check out this Hindu Succession Act and you would know who all can be your legal heirs.
  3. It is foolish to think that your legal heirs love each other and will never fight over your property. This has been found untrue in so many cases.
  4. There is no threshold asset value, only above which legal heirs will consider it substantial for fighting.
  5. The distribution of assets are done equally by the court of law without considering who is more needy amongst your legal heirs.
I would recommend that you should start thinking of making a will as soon as you get married. You can start with making a will on a simple white paper and asking your friends to act as witnesses. As you grow financially and acquire assets, you could add codicils to your will. If the number of codicils are more than five, then re-write a new will. You can think of registering your will once your assets have reached a substantial amount (you can decide what is substantial).  Where there is a WILL there is a way!!


  1. Great post.

    Most people start thinking about making a Will after marriage or after having their first kid.

    We are in fact trying to offer a Will making service for Indians - see www.akosha.in/products.


  2. thanks Ankur for the comment. I checked out the video for making wil. It looks a great service but a bit costly. Also giving all my details imply that your user-data security policy needs to be read.

  3. There are certain triggers that are related to making a Will. Getting married, having children, buying a property, all of which are reasons that you should begin making a Will.

  4. thanks for your comments "Making a will"... I agree that triggers points are key to updating/making will, but everyone has their own/different trigger points in life. there is no generic formula.