In India, Will registration is not mandatory. However, when one wishes to add another witness to a will, the government is the appropriate witness. With extra effort and some additional cost, they can do so voluntarily with the Government of India (Sub-Registrar’s Office). A registration like this will help the family in the event that someone challenges the authenticity of the Will, resulting in a court intervention to prove its authenticity. Registration of Wills makes proving genuineness easier without calling witnesses etc. in all such cases.
The Vakilsearch company offers Will Registration Service throughout India through its associates as a value-added service to fulfill the wishes of the Will writer. To register a Will, the testator must visit the local sub-registrar’s office where they reside in order to register it offline.
Professional fees for advisory and coordination services through our associates vary according to location, time, and effort.
Is It Mandatory To Get A Will Registered?
As the law does not mandate the registration of Wills, one may not proceed with an unregistered Will. However, the legal sanctity of a registered Will is greater than that of an unregistered Will.
During the registration process, a Will can be registered at the local sub-registrar’s office in the presence of the testator and two witnesses. It is recommended that the witness be someone who can verify the mental health of the testator while making the will. A person’s desires may change according to the circumstances, and his or her will may need to be amended. Due to the low registration fee, it is easy to revise or amend the will as many times as needed. Registering each new version requires payment of the registration fee.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR REGISTERING A WILL?
- A Will is normally signed at the home or office of the person and can be registered in his or her life after it has been signed.
- Wills must be registered at the office of the Sub-registrar of Assurances where the deceased’s residence is located. The government does not charge for the registration of a Will except for scanning and photocopying costs, which are minimal.
- There must be two witnesses and the testator present at the sub registrar’s office.
- Normally, the registration of a Will takes no longer than 30-45 minutes; however, the preparation of documentation, witnesses, and the appointment with the Sub-registrar may take three days.
WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED TO REGISTER A WILL?
- Two passport-sized photographs must be taken by the person making the Will at the Sub-registrar’s office.
- An MBBS / MD certificate of the testator’s mental fitness.
- A signed original will.
- Two witnesses must also present their two photographs.
- Proof of the will maker’s identity with a photograph.
- Photographs of the two witnesses.
- Proof of the address of the person who made the will.
- Two copies of the Pan Card of the Will maker and two copies of the Pan Card of the witnesses.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO ACCESS THE REGISTERED WILL?
- It is not possible for the public to inspect Wills
- Only the person who made the Will can obtain a copy from the Sub-registrar’s office.
- After the person’s death, a family member or executor may obtain a copy of the Will after proving their identity.
Is There An Eligibility Criteria For Making A Valid Will?
- It is required that the testator be at least 18 years old;
- The testator has a sound disposition or can make his own decisions;
- The testator is free of fraud, coercion, or any other undue influence;
- Having knowledge of the will’s contents is essential for the testator
Advantages and Disadvantages of Will Registration
The following are advantages of having a registered will:
- The will cannot be destroyed, damaged, lost, or stolen.
- The Registrar keeps the Will in safe custody.
- Until the testator’s death, no one can access or examine the Will without the express permission in writing of the testator.
- Without a will, you can get leasehold property transferred to the legal heirs of a registered Will if it is uncontested.
The following are the disadvantages of having a registered will:
- When compared to revocation of an unregistered Will, the process of revocation of a registered Will is much more complicated.
- An individual should make a registered Will if that person’s registered Will has been revoked.