How to write a WILL & Sample WILL

The response to my previous post on “Online Will” was very good. Few of my friends and blog visitors requested for a ‘sample draft of a Will.’ The online Will writing service providers prepare online Draft Will based on the details you provide. There is no need for you to work on drafting the Will.

But, if you are planning to write a Will on your own then consider the below points. In this post, I have also provided a ‘Sample Will.’

Important Sections in a Will:Sample Will

  • Personal DetailsYou have to state your name, father’s name, residential address, Date of Birth etc.,
  • Declaration of DateIt is very important to clearly mention the date of preparing your Will.
  • Validate Free WillYou can mention that you are not under any influence and you are not forced to prepare this Will by any person.
  • Provide Executor’s DetailsExecutor is the person who will implement/execute your Will. Hence, clearly mention his/her name, address, your relationship with him/her, age etc.,
  • Details of Assets & BeneficiariesThis is a very important section. List all immovable properties with clear addresses. Mention the movable assets like bank deposits, insurance, units of mutual funds etc., Mention the name of beneficiary(ies) for each asset. (For Mutual Funds – mention the Folio no’s)
  • SignatureSign the Will after mentioning the above details
  • Signature of WitnessesYou have to get the Will attested by minimum two witnesses. Make sure that they mention their father’s names and addresses.

Latest Article : Nominee, Legal Heir & Beneficiary – Are they one and the same?

Sample Draft Will / Sample Will Template

Below is the sample Will format:

I, Shri/Smt ………………….. son/daughter/wife of Shri ……………..,resident of …………………., by religion………….., do hereby revoke all my previous Wills (or) Codicils and declare that this is my last Will, which I make on this …….(Date)………………… My Date of Birth is ………….

I declare that I am in good health and possess a sound mind. This Will is made by me without any persuasion or coercion and out of my own independent decision only.

I appoint Shri………………….. Son/daughter of ……………, resident of …………. to be the executor of this Will. In the event Shri…………… were to predecease me, then Shri……………., will be the executor of this Will.

I bequeath the following assets to my Wife Smt……………..

1. My house located at………(address)………

2. Bank balance of my savings account no…………………..with ……………(bank name & bank address)………

3. My Bank fixed deposits in …….(bank name)…..bearing ……..(FD receipt nos)……..

4. The proceeds of my Term insurance policy ….(Policy no)……, from…….(insurance company name)………

5. The contents of bank locker no………, with bank…………, bank address……………

I bequeath the following assets to my son Shri……………

1. Residential Plot no…….., located at…………….

2. My car with registration no……….

3. My mutual fund investments with folio numbers…………………..

4. Any other asset not mentioned in this Will but of which I am the owner.

All the above assets are owned by me. No one else has rights on these properties.

Signature of Testator

Witnesses

We hereby attest that this Will has been signed by Shri………….as his last Will at ………(Place)……… in the joint presence of himself and us. The testator is in sound mind and made this Will without any coercion.

Signature of Witness (1) Signature of Witness (2)

Download free sample (Draft) WILL Document.

The above draft is just a sample Will. Kindly remember that there is no standard proforma or format for drafting a Will. It is always better to write an exhaustive Will. You may consult a Legal expert (or) consider utilizing the services of online Will writing providers.

Continue reading :

  1. Nominee Vs Legal Heir : Who will inherit (or) own your Assets? | Importance of WILL
  2. What is Ancestral Property? | Definition & Important Legal rules
  3. Leaving A Mark Before That Final Journey: The Last Will & Testament
  4. What is Streedhan? – Meaning & Constituents | How can Women protect it?
  5. Can a Mortgaged property be Gifted, Willed or Inherited?
  6. Five ways of transferring your Immovable (or) Real Estate Property

(Reference “Wills & Succession Planning” by R N Lakhotia, Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

  • B N Kapali says:

    Is it necessary to name an ‘executor’ for a will? Can we mention the beneficiary himself as an executor?

  • Major Chander Dhawan says:

    Can a will be hand written.
    Has the will to be necessarily registered, including hand written.
    How many original copies of the will should be made and where all to keep them ie banks, etc.

    • Sreekanth Reddy says:

      Dear Chander ji,
      Registration of Will is not mandatory.

      Ideally, the Will should be made in as many copies as the number of beneficiaries. For example, if there are three beneficiaries the testator should hand over an original copy of the Will to each of the three beneficiaries. In such a case, it should be mentioned in the Will that “This Will has been prepared in three copies. Each copy is original and bears equal weight. Each beneficiary is being handed over a copy of the Will immediately after execution.”

      Hand over self-certified copies of the Registered Will (if any) to all banks where the testator has accounts, lockers etc. iv. Hand over self-certified copies of the Registered Will to more than one friend, family member etc.

  • DK says:

    I reside in a society building with my parents and wife at Churchgate, Mumbai. My aged parents are the owners of the flat and garage (now converted into office) jointly. I am the only son and my parents have added me as a 100% nominee with society. My question is after their demise, will the flat & garage automatically be transferred in my name by society after the due process. What will be the process? Do i need to prepare a will and get the same probated to transfer the property in my name? Or will getting into a Gift Deed now itself would be a better option? Is a will or a gift deed required to transfer the property after demise of my parents or the same can be done by society without it? I do not want to pay 3% stamp duty + 1 % metro cess for probate of will or gift deed. It does not make sense to shell out so much expense for my parents flat. Please advise.

  • BJJOshi says:

    If my father has registered a will before his death and has appointed me as heir to the bank account and fixed deposit and heir to the house then can the bank validate this registered will or not?

    • T G Rao says:

      If the Registered Will is last and no other will post dated to this registered will exists, the Bank concerned will validate.

  • Ghansham Dass says:

    Dear Sreekanthajee.

    We have three immovable properties in joint names without specifying our shares. We also have investments in FDs and mutual funds. We have two children, both married. We want to give one immovable property to our son and everything else to our daughter through will because the son is quite well off. Can we write a joint conditional joint will that the survivor will retain authority to modify or rewrite the will if necessary. Or we should write two separate single or joint wills specifying share of each as above. Thanks. Ghansham Dass.

  • Prem Kumar says:

    Have made nominations against my fixed deposits with 3 of my children. And in the Will mentioned against each that the he/she would act as nominee and also the sole beneficiary

    Is this ok.

    Joint account in the bank. Is there any necessity to comment on this.As the joint holder automatically becomes the sole operater. Do I have to mention anything in my Will

  • Gurpreet Singh, Adv. says:

    Just one advise, Shri/Smt is never prefixed with Testator/Testatrix name. Rather, one can not prefix Shri/Smt with one’s own name in any writing.

  • Sandeep Vasantrao Dhumal says:

    Is it not necessary for a medical certificate to be attached to the will.

    • Sreekanth Reddy says:

      Dear Sandeep,
      It is not necessary.
      There is no requirement under the law to obtain a certificate from a doctor at the time of making a Will.

      However, since Section 59 of the Indian Succession Act 1925, inter alia, requires that the person making his/her Will should be of sound mind, as a precaution against challenges to the Will on the ground that the testator/testatrix was not of sound mind at the time when drawing up the Will, sometimes (and especially when the person executing the Will is a senior citizen), a certificate of a doctor is obtained certifying the state of mind of the testator

  • vasu says:

    sir myself and my aunt ( father’s sister ) purchased house jointly . My aunty doesn’t have any children and her husband expired few years back. As she is old aged is it better option to make WILL deed for transfer of her share in property to me after her death. kindly suggest. thanks

  • Hariharan says:

    My wife and myself are owning shares in Demat account jointly and we have nominated our children as nominees. Likwise we have invested in Mutual Funds with joint names with children as nominees.
    1.Whether the shares automatically goes to the survivor or not. Can nominees object to that.
    2.If in the Will, it is mentioned that the shares should go to the spouse on other persons death and whatever remains after the death of the survivor, the balance should go to children(nominees). Whether is it ok and Will is valid.

    • Vasu Kotoju says:

      Dear Hariharan,

      For transmission of shares the successor/ ultimate beneficiary have to make an application to the Company Secretary of that particular company attaching following details.

      – Death Certificate
      – Succession certificate/ Probate of will
      – NOC from other legal heirs and
      other formalities as suggested by company secretary.

  • Partha says:

    My parents had a house in their joint names, which was sold by my father in 2013, after the death of mother same year. As my married sister is financially very well off, my father gave the entire money from sale to me (around Rs 30 lakhs) and I purchased a new flat in my name in 2014, by adding around 35% amount from my side as well. As this flat in in my name alone and my father has died recently, can my sister make a claim from me for giving her half the sale value of my parents house – being an ancestral property. I ask this as my sister had on few occasions told my father verbally that he gave the entire sale amount to me.

    • Sreekanth Reddy says:

      Dear Partha,
      Legally, she can claim her share in the (sold) property proceeds.

      Related article : What is Ancestral Property? | Definition & Important Legal rules

      • Partha says:

        Maybe I wrongly mentioned ancestral property. That house was purchased by my Father in-law himself from his own money and was not inherited from his parents. Secondly, I had heard that there is a certain time period within which any claim has to be made, otherwise it gets Time -barred and then nobody can stake any claim. The house in question was sold 7 years ago and no written or informal claim has ever been made for a stake from the proceeds of its Sale.

        • Sreekanth Reddy says:

          Dear Partha,
          Your father or father-in-law??

          If it is a self-occupied property and WILL is not written then as per the Hindu Succession Act the property ownership gets distributed

          • Partha says:

            Sorry, it is my Father. Moreover, the house had been sold 7 years ago itself and thus cannot be construed as Self-occupied by me. The money from its sale was used by me for buying a flat in my name alone and I stay in this flat, after adding 35% amount from my side as well. Do you have any comment on claims getting Time-barred. And can the Executor also be one of the Witnesses.

          • Sreekanth Reddy says:

            Dear Partha,
            Anything can be challenged in the court of law.
            Executor here refers to??

            “As per the provisions of the Limitation Act, 1963, the time limit prescribed to institute a suit for possession for enforcing a right relating to an immovable property is 12 years.”

            So, time-line can be around 12 years I guess..

  • venkatesh says:

    good morning sir -please need a sample will in favour of son by his mother and sister regarding property of deceased father, thank you

  • Sandesh says:

    Many Thanks

  • Surya says:

    Hi Sreekanth,I was married for 3 years after that me and my wife are staying seperately. my wife didnt gave me divorce.My divorce petition was dismissed by district court saying no strong reason to give divorce.In divorce case also I paid interim maintainance and then she files MC even for that I am paying maintenance. Its been 11 years my marriage happened and been 8 we are not together.I have son and daughter was born after she left home and said she was carrying at the time leaving the home. I dont have hope that we again together.My wife and her parents are fully money-minded.My wife simply saying I dont give divorce do what ever u want saying I have kids and not divorced hence after your death whatever you have property all come to us. I knew she ruined my life just thinking i have property.So i dont want my single penny to go her or her kids. Kids are no way in touch with me. I want to write WILL to donate to any charity. Is this valid or only kids are leagal heirs?I am feeling so tense and dont know my future so planning to write WILL. Please suggst atleast I feel satisfied that after my death my wife or kids dont get any of my own heard earned property also I dont have any property from my father.

    • Sreekanth Reddy says:

      Dear Surya,
      Can understand your feelings and emotions!
      But, aren’t they your kids?

      Are your entire property/assets self-acquired by you? Did she contribute to acquire any assets? Is she a joint-owner in any of the assets?
      Did she bring any Streedhan?

      • Ankur says:

        Hi Sreekanth,

        My father has passed away 20 yrs back. Further 3 years back my mother has transferred her share in the house to her younger son without knowing anything about will. Now we have come to know to about will which is on plain paper and signed by my father and 2 witness as well.in which he has transferred the property fully to my mother. Can we use this will to transfer the property to son fully.

  • bela says:

    Dear Sreekanth. Please advice me. I am USA citizen, My Mom and Dad and my brother are USA citizen but my sister is India citizen. (total 3 siblings). My dad have assets in both countries. how can he make will? does he require to make 2 separate will for each country? is it valid if he write a will on plain paper ? please explain. thank you.

    • Sreekanth Reddy says:

      Dear Bela,
      I am not very sure about the rules, guidelines and regulations pertaining to the Estate planning @ USA.

      Ideally, a Will for the Indian properties should be made separately and should never be clubbed with the properties overseas

      A WILL can be prepared by an NRI and can then be notarized with witnesses while the NRI is not in India.
      The will can then be Registered when he/she makes a visit to India (though the registration of Will is not mandatory).

  • asha says:

    i lost my mother in 1983. i was 16 years then. now i want to claim her maternal property as i’m bankrupt and has no other option. but my maternal uncle is not ready to share, it is a almost 50 lacs worth property which be
    ones to my mother. am i eligible and can claim through court?

  • Sreekanth Reddy says:

    Dear Malisha ji,
    Not mandatory.
    But in case you are planning to get Gift Deed and also Draft WILL, advisable to consult a trusted civil lawyer.

  • Malisha says:

    Dear Sreekanth. Please advice me..I have two sons. We bought a house in the name of elder son and me. But my husband paid most of the money and little we had to borrow from the bank which my elder son was paying and sometimes we paid the EMI. The share certificate is in both out names. Can I give my share of the flat to my younger son? My husband is alive and has a property of his own. Thanks.

  • Mary says:

    Dear Sreekanth, My husband passed away recently and we were abroad when it happened. I want to write a will right away just in case something happens. Can I use your format to do this even though I am abroad currently? Do I need to go to a consulate and get it attested or something? I really appreciate all and any help. Thanks. Mary

  • Rahul Bharti says:

    Dear Sreenivasaiah,
    Hey Thanks for sharing this valuable information with us. I really love to read your content regularly on Your Blog.

  • Samuel says:

    Dear Sir,
    self and wife both are working and acquired properties separately and jointly. Also have separate parental properties. can we make a joint WILL. Thanks

    • Sreekanth Reddy says:

      Dear Samuel,
      You can write..but based on the provided info, I believe that separate WILLs can be a better way ..Kindly consult a civil lawyer.

  • aaron paul says:

    This is nice article you shared great information i have read it thanks for giving such a wonderful Blog for reader.

  • POLLY MUKHERJEE & S.K.MUKHERJEE says:

    1.My wife and i hold all our investment as well as the residential house Jointly . Is it possible to prepare a joint will and notarize the same without an executor.

    2. Is it possible to create an addendum to it , if required at a later date to be considered a part of the will , as above prepared earlier.

    • Sreekanth Reddy says:

      Dear Mr Mukherjee,

      Any two persons are entitled to make a joint will however a joint will is valid only if it is made by two persons who are related to each other or have joint ownership or are joint beneficiaries of any trust. A joint will is perfectly valid under all personal laws.

      Related article : Law Of Joint Will Indian Personal Law Context

      Adding an addendum to a will requires a document called a codicil. If drafted appropriately, the codicil will be considered a part of the will and read alongside the original document when the estate is probated.

      Kindly read : What is Codicil? How is it executed?

      Suggest you to consult a civil lawyer as well.

  • JKS Rawat says:

    Sir, I have purchased a property by investing 100 percent , but regt doc have my and wife name . My wife is house wife . Can I make WILL for 100 percent property without involving wife? As I want to give to son but she want to give daughter.

  • Manoj Jain says:

    Hi Sreekanth, We have property jointly owned by my wife and me. We want to will it to our daughter. Do we need to make 2 separate wills or can we make a joint will? Are there any draft or sample wills available that we can prepare our self as we live outside India? Any information you can provide would be much appreciated.

    Thank you

  • Chetana Vakade says:

    Can A Catholic wife and Hindu husband make a joint Will

  • JKS Rawat says:

    – A land measuring 6000 sq ft divided into 02 plots is in the name of mine and wife name. can i alone write WILL separately ?
    – Can WILL be registered in one state if property situated in 02 states?

    • Sreekanth Reddy says:

      Dear Mr Rawat,
      1 – After the bifurcation of land, are the two plots owned by you separately? Or both of the plots are jointly owned?
      2 – Yes, can be registered. But, to make things easy, it is ideal to get it registered in the same location (Sub-Registrar office).

  • Sandeep says:

    I jointly own a flat with my wife. I understand that in the event of death of either of us, the ownership of the flat will pass on to the surviving spouse, even if there is no specific mention about it in the will.

    I want to make a provision in my will such that in the event of both of us (myself and wife) perish in an accident at the same time, I want that the ownership of property passes on to my daughter who is still not an adult.

    How do I make such a provision in my will.

  • Nancy says:

    Hi Sree,

    Do you know what stamp paper value is required for will? Also can we get it drafted by a notary and get it registered on our own.

    Nancy

    • Sreekanth Reddy says:

      Dear Nancy,
      Actually, the WILL can be written on a piece of white paper as well.
      If you are planning to go for a Registered WILL then kindly visit the concerned local Sub-Registrar office, they will guide you.
      Also, visit your State Govt’s Registration/Revenue Dept portal to know the fee details.
      Generally the WILL/Gift deed registration fees are nominal in most of the States..

  • Aku says:

    Dear Sreekanth,

    My father who passed away a couple of years ago has written three separate Wills for three different properties for three different beneficiaries, registered on the same day (instead of listing all in a single will). Are all these still valid? Can each beneficiary apply for a probate with their own documents?

    Thanks for your reply.

    • Sreekanth Reddy says:

      Dear Aku,
      I believe these WILLS can be considered as valid ones.
      Suggest you to also consult a civil lawyer.

      • Aku says:

        Thank you Sreekanth. I did contact a lawyer and he was telling me that all listings/properties should be in one Will mentioned as Schedule A, Schedule B and Schedule C and hence the Will(s) written by my dad are all invalid except for the last one (though all were written on a same day, same time). I was doubtful with his theory and hence looking for a right answer through different sources.

  • Raghavan V V says:

    Dear Mr Sreekanth,
    Need your advice and guidance please. I am the only child and son for my mother who is 77 years old. She has a house, jewellary and some deposits in bank which is self acquired one with her earnings as school teacher.
    She intends to give only to me. She wants to write a Will to be safe. Kindly advice since i am the only Beneficiary, is it ok for myself as an executor cum beneficiary.
    However we will have witnesses signing the same who are different and not beneficiary of the Will. Kindly advice. Thanks and Regards,

    • Sreekanth Reddy says:

      Dear Raghavan,
      Its fine to be an executor cum beneficiary in a WILL.
      Suggest you to get the WILL registered in Sub-Registrar office (though it is not mandatory..)

      Related Articles :
      * Leaving A Mark Before That Final Journey: The Last Will & Testament
      * Nominee Vs Legal Heir : Who will inherit (or) own your Assets? | Importance of WILL

      • Raghavan V V says:

        Dear Sreekanth,

        Thanks for your reply. My mother unfortunately passed away. I am the only child and son for her. She has signed a will written written by her grand daughter duly signed by two witness. She has named me as the sole executor cum sole beneficiary.

        While she has put my name as nominee in all her investments, in the PPF unfortunately nominee is not registered which has got unnoticed. This PPF investment through SBI.

        Being the sole executor and beneficiary, should the WILL be still probated.. I am asking this as there is no contestant. Kindly advice.
        Alternatively please advice should the Will be registered now to make it a legal document.
        Regards, Raghavan

        • Sreekanth Reddy says:

          Dear Raghavan,
          Sorry for the loss of your mother!

          For the registration of WILL, your mother’s signature is required. Now that it is not possible. You may just execute this WILL without any Probate. In case, your banker or if it is required, you may then probate the will.

  • Om Prakash Pali says:

    SIR, I AM THANKFUL FOR SUCH LEGAL GUIDANCE.

  • Naveen Puri says:

    Dear Sreekanth,

    Me and my father have multiple properties on joint name with 50% ownership and we have two more legal heirs. But he wants to write a will making me owner of everything after him. So, what will be the procedure of the same ? Also need to know how to write will for Joint Properties and other liquid amount.

    Regards,
    Naveen Puri

  • SAURABh ANAND says:

    Dear Sreekanth

    My mother has one son and daughter want to write a will , she has two properties ( flats ) and four bank accounts and one locker . Three bank accounts have joint name with her son ( me ) and one account has nominee as son ( me) . She wants to make simple will giving one flat to her son and another flat to her daughter. Do she need to mention bank accounts and locker details also even though they are in joint account with her son .

    Thanks

  • Samidh Mukherjee says:

    Most unrealistic… “My Bank fixed deposits in …….(bank name)…..bearing ……..(FD receipt nos)……..”. I keep adding FDs and old ones get matured throughout the year, so does it mean I have to rewrite my will every month? It should read, “I bequeath to my wife all my FDs that I have opened in all banks”.

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