Making a Will is not just a legal, but an emotional exercise

Moneylife Foundation ended 2012 with a seminar on Wills and Nominations with Dr SD Israni who explained the complex topic citing many real-life examples 

 
For Moneylife Foundation, the calendar year 2012 ended with the much-in-demand workshop on Wills and Nominations by Dr SD Israni, advocate and partner of SD Israni Law Chambers. His vast experience, spanning nearly 40 years, in the field of corporate, commercial and securities laws, helped him illustrate the need to prepare a comprehensive Will. He guided participants on how to complete the nomination and transmission formalities for moveable and immoveable properties.
 
Dr Israni pointed out the importance of being in a peaceful frame of mind while writing a Will or changing it. He mentioned the importance of making a Will regardless of age. He also pointed out that a Will has to be revocable because people sometimes make changes due to emotional reasons. A Will can be written in any language the individual is comfortable with. He mentioned that the primary idea of a Will is to express oneself, but the expression must be clear and unambiguous; there has to be clarity and consistency while expressing oneself in a Will. He also gave examples of people who delayed making their Will due to the superstition that it might hasten their death.
 
The main elements of a Will are the name and identity of the author (testator), two witnesses and their addresses, the list of assets and their distribution. The Will must be signed by two witnesses and the testator in the presence of each other. He said, “A codicil is a part of the Will which comes into play if some minor changes are to be made. If you have to make major changes, like naming a different heir, make a new Will.” 
 
While it is not important to register the Will, Dr Israni mentioned that the registration of a Will alone does not guarantee total protection. An unregistered Will is not inferior to a registered Will. He noted that a registered Will only proves that the person was alive on that particular day. He also pointed out that a registered Will is also open to being challenged in a court of law as the genuineness of a Will has nothing to do with its registration. He emphasised that no matter how many Wills a person makes, it is the last Will, or that which turns out to be the last, is what matters. 
 
Dr Israni mentioned that even intangibles, such as copyrights and intellectual property rights, form an integral part of property and, therefore, need to be mentioned in the Will. He also emphasised that if an individual has acquired multiple properties during his/her lifetime and the Will does not mention them, it would be deemed that the individual has died intestate.
 
Dr Israni’s presentation lasted one hour after which there was a lively question and answer session. 

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