Write your will, update nominees.

With or without the fear of COVID, this is among the first task you should complete in the new year. Irrespective of your age, write will. “In uncertain times like these when there is an increased risk to life, anyone above the age of 21 who has wealth and family or dependents should make should make his will at the earliest.

Anyone with a positive net worth should do as soon as he has responsibilities and financial goal in place. Even for people with no successors who may want to use their wealth for philanthropic activities, a will is important.

You can simply write the will on a piece of paper, listing all your beneficiaries, assets and how you want distributed.

“However, it should be worded without any confusion and all the clauses and information so as not to defeat the purpose of making a will”. So it is necessary either to consult a lawyer while writing it or have it checked by financial advisor after it has drafted.

Keep in mind that the will is signed by you in the presence of and attested by two witnesses other than the beneficiaries. A Doctor’s certificate testifying to your physical and mental well being, as well as video recording of the entire proceedings is advisable. Sign every page of the will and appoint and executor. Don’t forget to mention that it is the last will and supersedes all other will.

Along with the will, remember to update your nominees in all your accounts and investments. While nominee is merely a caretaker and not a legal heir to whom the assets will eventually go. It is important to appoint these for smoother transition of assets. Do so for your bank accounts fixed, recurring and post office deposits, insurance policies, Securities like Mutual funds, shares and debentures, financial instruments and lockers, immovable properties, EPF, PPF, Government saving certificates, and gratuity among others.

“Make sure to give the name, age, address and relationship of the nominees with the appointer in the nomination form. Some investments allow you to have multiple nominees where you can assign percentage of money to each.”

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