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Should You Register Your Will?

Should You Register Your Will?

Registering your Will is not a legal requirement, but it does have some advantages. We provide guidance on the process.

Team Yellow



min read

July 26, 2023

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When it comes to planning for the future and ensuring the smooth distribution of your assets, creating a Will is a critical step. In India, the legal requirements for making a Will are relatively straightforward, allowing individuals to express their wishes regarding the distribution of their estate after their passing. While it is not mandatory to register a Will in India, many individuals choose to do so for added peace of mind and legal validity.

In this article, we will explore the legal requirements for making a Will, delve into the topic of Will registration, and discuss the benefits that come with registering your Will. Whether you are in the process of creating a new Will or contemplating the registration of an existing one, understanding the legal landscape and advantages of registration can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your estate planning goals.

Legal Requirements For Making A Will

Creating a valid Will in India is actually very simple. It can be made on plain paper, and can be handwritten or printed, as long as the person making the Will (also known as the Testator) is mentally sound and at least 18 years old. In India, the document must be hand-signed by the Testator in the presence of at least two Witnesses to make it legally valid. The Witnesses are also required to sign the Will.

Is Registering A Will Mandatory By Law?

Contrary to popular belief, registration of a Will is not mandatory under Indian law (Section 18 (e) of the Registration Act, 1908) to make it legally valid. However, registration serves as an extra layer of security to preserve a genuine copy in case the original document gets lost, damaged or is tampered with. Also, because all the parties are present before the sub-registrar, it proves beyond doubt that the Testator is of sound mind and is voluntarily executing the Will.

When Can A Will Be Registered?

As we read above, whether a person wants to register a Will or not, is totally his / her choice. As the Testator, you have the option to register your Will anytime during your lifetime. Interestingly, your Will can even be registered after your demise. Under Section 40 of the Act, your Executor, or any person claiming under the Will, such as a Beneficiary, can present the Will for registration at the local sub-registrar's office.

Advantages Of Registering A Will

Registering your Will with the appropriate authorities offers several advantages, providing clarity, security, and peace of mind for both you and your Beneficiaries. Let’s delve into the benefits in more detail:

Authenticity: Registering your Will with the local sub-registrar ensures its authenticity and eliminates any doubts regarding coercion. The involvement of sub-registrars in the process establishes an official record of the Will's existence, date, and your identity as the Testator. A registered Will holds more weight than an unregistered one.

Protection Against Loss or Tampering: Registering your Will safeguards it from loss, theft, misplacement, destruction, or tampering. The copy of your registered Will becomes an official record, providing an extra layer of protection.

Enhanced Credibility: Registered Wills enjoy enhanced credibility and acceptance by financial institutions, government authorities, and other relevant parties. When Beneficiaries present a registered Will for asset distribution or other legal transactions, it carries more weight and is more readily accepted.

Confidentiality & Privacy, along with a Back-Up: Registering your Will does not automatically make it a public document, allowing you to maintain confidentiality and privacy. Only you, your Beneficiaries, and authorised legal representatives can access the Will. Upon your demise, the Executor, Beneficiaries, or other family members can request a copy of the Will from the sub-registrar's office, following due verification and payment of the required fee, in case the original is lost or destroyed.

When To Consider Registering Your Will

In India, there are certain situations where registering your Will is particularly beneficial. Some of them are listed below.

Complex Family Situations: If you have a complex family structure, multiple Beneficiaries, or foresee potential disputes over your assets, registering your Will can provide clarity and reduce the chances of litigation. It serves as a strong legal document to establish your intentions and prevent conflicts among family members.

Immovable Assets: If you own immovable assets, such as a flat, commercial property, or residential property, registering your Will can help because at the time of transfer of such assets, the local authorities tend to rely more on a registered Will. This makes the process of asset transfer smoother.

Peace Of Mind: If you want complete peace of mind knowing that, apart from your Witnesses, the government is also a Witness to your Will, it may be worthwhile to register your Will.

The Bottom Line

While not mandatory by law, registering a Will can be an important step towards safeguarding your legacy and ensuring the smooth distribution of your assets according to your wishes. The legal validity, authenticity, and protection against alteration or destruction provided by registered Wills offer peace of mind to both the Testator and Beneficiaries. By minimising disputes and providing clarity and security, registered Wills help preserve family harmony and uphold the Testator's intentions.

At Yellow, we are committed to providing comprehensive support for all your estate planning needs. Our team of 500+ agents located across India is ready to assist you every step of the way, whether you need help creating your Will or registering it. With our expertise and guidance, you can navigate the process with confidence and ensure that your wishes are properly documented and protected. Don't hesitate to reach out to us and start securing your legacy today.

So, don’t delay and get started today!


Team Yellow


min read
July 26, 2023



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