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How can an NRI make Will in India?

Are you a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) wondering how to make a valid will in India? It’s no secret that NRI`s face unique challenges when planning for their assets and estate. Not only do they need to take into account the laws of two different countries, but also the fact that Indian laws are not applicable outside of India. This can be both confusing and frustrating, especially if you are living abroad and don’t know where to start. 

In this blog post, we will explore what an NRI needs to do in order to create a valid will in India, as well as some tips on how to make the process easier. Read on to find out more. 

Natural Succession or Will

The will must be registered with the office of the sub-registrar in the district where the property is located. Registration is mandatory if the value of the property exceeds Rs 100.

The will must be signed by two witnesses, who should also sign the attestation clause on the left margin of the will. The witnesses should not be beneficiaries under the will.

One or Multiple Wills

An NRI can make a will in India in one of two ways: one will that applies to all of their property or multiple wills that each apply to different types of property.

If an NRI creates a single will that covers all of their assets, they can name anyone they want as an executor. This individual will be in charge of ensuring that the NRI’s wishes are carried out after their death.

If an NRI makes multiple wills, then they must appoint a different executor for each will. The executors of each will be responsible for carrying out the NRI’s wishes with regard to the specific type of property covered by that will.

Executors

The executor must be someone who is willing and able to take on the responsibility. They must be over the age of 18 and have the mental capacity to understand the implications of their role.

Once the will is made, the executor must sign it in front of two witnesses. The witnesses must also sign the will. The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of the will.

The executor has a number of duties, including:

  • Collecting and safeguarding the assets of the estate.
  • Paying any debts and taxes owed by the estate.
  • Distribute the assets of the estate according to the terms of the will

Laws Related to Will

An NRI can make a will in India by executing it in accordance with Indian law. The will must be duly signed and witnessed by at least two witnesses, who should also sign the will. The witnesses should be of sound mind and not related to the testator.

The will must be executed on a non-judicial stamp paper of appropriate value as per Indian law. It should be noted that the value of the stamp paper may differ from state to state. The will should be properly registered with the office of the Sub-Registrar within whose jurisdiction the property is situated.

Once the will is registered, a copy thereof should be sent to the Indian Embassy or High Commission located in the country of residence of the testator, for safekeeping.

Succession Laws based on the Religion

When it comes to making a will in India, there are different rules and regulations that apply depending on your religion. 

For Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains

  • The laws of succession are governed by the Hindu Succession Act of 1956. 
  • This law dictates that your property will be distributed among your heirs according to the principle of intestate succession. 
  • This means that your assets will be divided up equally among your legal heirs, which include your spouse, children, parents, and other close relatives. 
  • If you are not married or do not have any children – your property will go to your parents. 
  • If you are a Muslim – the laws of succession are governed by the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act of 1937. 
  • Under these laws, your property will be distributed among your heirs according to the principles of Islamic inheritance. 
  • This means that your assets will be divided up according to certain proportions among your spouse, children, parents, and other close relatives. 
  • If you are not married or do not have any children – then your property will go to your parents or other close relatives.

Things to Remember

There are a few key things to remember when making a will as an NRI. First, it is important to have your will registered in India. This can be done at the office of the Registrar of Wills in the city where you reside. You will need to present your passport and proof of residence in India.

Secondly, your will should be made in accordance with the laws of India. This means that you should appoint executors who are residents of India and who are familiar with Indian law. You should also include any specific instructions regarding the distribution of your assets in India.

Finally, it is important to keep your will up to date. As your circumstances change, so too should your will. For example, if you acquire new assets in India or if you have children who are born after you make your will, you should update your will accordingly.

Benefits

There are many benefits of making a will in India for NRIs. First, it provides peace of mind knowing that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes. Second, it can help minimize disputes among family members or other beneficiaries. Third, a will can help to ensure that your loved ones are provided for financially after your death. Finally, making a will is simply good planning and can save your loved ones a great deal of time, money, and stress.

It is advisable for an NRI to make a will in India, in order to ensure that their property and assets are distributed in accordance with their wishes. However, the process can be complicated and it is important to seek professional legal advice to ensure that the will is valid and enforceable.