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Guide to Will Registration


Guide to Will Registration

Registration of Will is not a mandatory requirement, it is purely optional. The validity or genuineness of a Will cannot be raised only based on its non-registration. Hence, Will registration is done only in selected circumstances. In this article, we look at the advantages, disadvantages and procedure for Will registration.

Procedure for Will Registration

As per the Registration Act, will registration is done at the Sub-Registrar office, established by the State governments.  There is stamp duty is chargeable on Will registration. After drafting of the Will, a witness should accompany the testator to the Registrar for registration of the Will. After executing the Will, the registered Will can be deposited in safe custody with a banker or lawyer. Registrars also have authority to receive and hold in deposit wills. The testator or any person duly authorised by the testator depositing a will to the Registrar should be sealed. On satisfying the identity of the testator or the person authorised by the testator, the Registrar would hold the cover containing the will.

In case a testator wishes to change or withdraw a Will from the Registrar, then he or she can apply personally or through a duly authorised agent. By satisfying the Registrar, the will is delivered. In case of death of the testator, any person could apply to the Registrar for the opening of the cover containing the Will of the deceased. In such a case, Registrar can open the cover in the presence of the applicant and provide a copy to the applicant. However, the original Will would be in the custody of the Registrar until a competent court order for producing the Will before it.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Will Registration

The following are advantages of having a registered will:

  • Will is not destroyable or damageable or lost or stolen.
  • Will is in safe custody by the Registrar.
  • No person can access or examine the Will without the express permission in writing of the testator until his/her death.
  • If a registered Will is uncontested, getting leasehold property mutated in the name of the legal heirs without obtaining a will is possible.

The following are the disadvantages of having a registered will:

  • Revocation of a registered Will is a cumbersome process when compared to the revocation of an unregistered Will.
  • If a registered Will is revoked, then any subsequent Will made by the person should also be a registered Will.