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Make a Will

By making a will you not only ensure your children are secure, but you also reduce the likelihood of future family feuds.

Most families have their share of family feuds, and the few lucky families that are composed of aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and parents that love each other, certainly know of people who are not so lucky.

If you must learn one good thing from the numerous family disputes you have no doubt encountered, let it be the importance of making a will.

49-year-old Gautam died in a car crash, leaving behind a 25-year-old son and a 23-year-old daughter, both married. Gautam's son, who is in possession of Gautam's house in a prime location in Mumbai, refuses to give his sister a share in it. He has forged a will stating that Gautam had left everything to his son. The result is that the children are presently battling it out in court. If Gautam had made a will and made the provisions of the will clear to his children before his death, perhaps this would not have been the case. Naturally a great deal does depend on the nature of your children itself, but if your children are loving, not greedy and are independent, you will make the division of property much easier after your death by making a will and removing unnecessary complications. In this manner neither child will also feel that the other cheated him and there will be no bad taste left in their mouths.

The prospect of making a will is not a pleasant one at any stage of life, especially not when you are still young and have years to go before you envision yourself leaving this world. But just think of it as another form of Life Insurance Policy. By leaving behind a will you are not only leaving less scope for family feuds, but you are also ensuring that your property will go to those you love and would like to provide for.

Do you need a lawyer to make a will? No. You can make one yourself. However, you need to make sure that you word your will clearly, precisely and concisely to make sure that your words can only be interpreted in one way.

Choose a guardian for your children in your will. The guardian may be your surviving spouse, but in case something should happen to the two of you, you could decide together on a guardian for your children.

If you would like someone to manage your children's assets until they become adults, choose such other person.

Choose an executor of the will to carry out your wishes after you die. The executor should be someone you trust implicitly, and should not be someone you have willed any of the property to, as this may cast doubt on the genuineness of the will and can be a point of contention should your benefactors choose to contest the will.

Make sure you put a date on the will, and that you sign it. Get it registered. You will also need signatures of 2 witnesses on the will.

If you would like to put your will in a safe deposit box at the bank, speak to the bank manager about how they would go about releasing your will from the safe deposit after your death. You don't want to complicate matters by making your will inaccessible. You could leave the details of the safe deposit box with the executor of the will.

Keep updating your will at regular intervals so that when your will is required, it will be a reflection of your latest wishes.

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