Despite being a diversified country, we Indians still have a few things in common. These similarities can be seen in our food, thought process, society and family structure. Among-st these common habits let us take the family structure in the context. Since hundreds of years we have seen a concept of joint family or extended family, where at least 2-3 generation lives under the same roof. There can be multiple working members or in some cases, all of them work in same place (i.e. HUF). The head of the family is the eldest person and he holds the title for most of the assets.
Similarly our society has evolved and nuclear family system has been preferred. Income has grown for most of the professionals, which results in acquisition of more assets. With the family system being a mixed and increased complexity a lot of dispute regarding the rightful claim to property has increased. Assets worth thousands of crores are left under dispute left on the judiciary to decide and still awaiting for a decision. The reason for such complication is a lack of estate planning. We have laws (Indian Succession Act, Hindu Succession Act) prevailing for the distribution of assets among-st the family members to tackle the situation but the procedure and the time taken is painstaking. Another way which succeeds all these situation is creating of a will.
A will is a statement documented in a stamp paper or even on a piece of paper which includes the distribution of the assets among-st the family member in case of death of an individual. The person who wish the write a will can distribute his assets as per his wish to any family member.
We are sometimes are not very open to discuss the about will due to emotional reason, but these emotions can change in future if there is a dispute in your family for the estate you would have left in your absence. It is advisable to have a clarity in advance regarding such issues to avoid family rift and inconvenience. A ‘Will’ would not destroy a family but it certainly helps in not letting it destroy.
But more often, a lot of us are confused about who needs to have a will. Whether to have at the age of 50-55 years when you are retiring or post retirement or during the peak earning years. So let us see the applicable individuals for a will –
1) Young family with Kids
This is the age where your earnings start to increase substantially and one plans to acquire the wealth. There may be a case where the person has siblings of the same age. In such case making a will should define whether the estate after should be shared by the siblings or need to be with their immediate family only.
2) Matured Family
This stage of life (40 years or more) where you have school goings kids and has acquired multiple real estate and other fixed assets like gold, vehicles along with investments in stocks and Mutual Funds is a crucial for Will. As the asset holding increases and become more complex one needs to make a will.
3) Nearing Retirement
Once you hit the 55 years mark, your kids are adult and self-sufficient. But you still wants to support them in some way or the other. On, other hand you are about to receive a lump sum amount for retirement, planning to liquidate some real estate or gold to support your retirement. As there would be high cash flows and involvement of big cash transaction it is very important to define how this would be allocated later.
4) Post Retirement
Once an individual retires and relies mostly on his income or sometimes on the kids to financial support, the only source of wealth left is the property where they reside. One needs to create a will to determine on which way the wealth generated post their demise needs to distributed among-st the remaining family. One might want to transfer it to their surviving spouse, or to one of the kid or equally divide among-st them.
If after reading this, you find that you should be making a will, you can do this easily in today’s day and age. It is possible to generate an E-WIll (a will generated online) at the click of a button and at a fraction of the cost. Using ArthaYantra’s Arthos platform, you can not only enter your assets but also generate your E-Will with ease.