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  • Writer's pictureSharad Nagpal

Understanding the ABCs of Property Law: Exploring the Different Types of Wills in India

Updated: Apr 29, 2023


A will is a legal instrument that specifies the manner in which an individual's assets are to be allocated following their demise. In India, there are several types of wills that one can make. Each type has its own set of rules and regulations that must be followed. Let's take a look at some of the different types of wills under property law in India. Registered Will: A registered will is a will that is made and registered with the Sub-Registrar of Assurances in the relevant jurisdiction. This type of will is considered to be legally binding and can be challenged only under certain conditions. To make a registered will, the testator must visit the Sub-Registrar of Assurances office along with two witnesses. The will is written, signed in their presence, and then registered with the office.

Unregistered Will: An unregistered will is a will that is not registered with any authority. This type of will is not considered to be legally binding and can be challenged more easily than a registered will. Unregistered wills are usually written by the testator themselves, and must be signed and witnessed by at least two witnesses. Individuals who lack awareness of the importance of registering their will at the sub-registrar's office or who are physically incapable of doing so often create unregistered wills.

Privileged Will: A privileged will is a will that is made by specific individuals who are serving in the armed forces or who are mariners at sea. This type of will is valid even if it is not signed or witnessed according to the usual rules of making a will. Privileged wills are usually made in emergency situations where the testator is unable to make a will according to the usual rules. Holographic Will: A holographic will is a will that is handwritten by the testator. This type of will is recognized under certain conditions in India. For a holographic will to be valid, it must be entirely handwritten, dated, and signed by the testator. The will must also be written in the testator's own handwriting. Holographic wills are usually used by individuals who want to make a will quickly and urgently. Oral Will: An oral will is a will that the testator speaks in the presence of witnesses. This type of will is not recognized under Indian law. Oral wills are usually considered unreliable as they are not recorded in writing, and can be easily disputed. Joint Will: A joint will is a will that is made by two or more persons. This type of will is recognized under certain conditions in India. Joint wills are usually made by spouses who want to make a will together. The will is signed by both spouses and is usually considered to be legally binding. In conclusion, several types of wills are under property law in India. Each type of will has its own set of rules and regulations that must be followed. It is important to consult with a legal expert when making a will to ensure that it is legally binding and will hold up in court if challenged. Making a will is important in protecting one's assets and ensuring that one's wishes are followed after death.


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