Should an NRI write a will separately for their assets?

write a will,

Writing a Will is not a legally mandatory requirement. But, if a person dies without leaving a Will behind, his/her family members will have to follow the laws of intestate succession in deciding how to divide his/her assets. It is a misconception to believe that all the property is automatically passed on to the spouse.

Over the last three decades, the Indian Diaspora population has been growing significantly. The people of India have grown to be a lot more mobile than in the past, and they have been moving to different places around the globe. However, it has been found that the majority of the NRI population has spread to countries like USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong.  However, managing cross-border assets is not an easy task and comes with its own challenges.

Amongst the significant challenges faced by the NRIs is that how to execute a seamless transfer of such assets. Will, is one of the basic necessities of estate planning must be written for the smooth inheritance of property by NRI. When a person writes a Will, a question usually arises in the mind of NRIs is whether they should write a Will separately – one for their foreign assets and one for their assets in India?

An NRI person must take into account all the Advantages and Disadvantages of having concurrent Wills or one Will before arriving at a decision.

What are the Challenges Faced by NRIs if They Write a Will?

Here are a few lists of challenges that an NRI can face if he/she write a Will:

  • When the time comes to executing the Will, initially it needs to be probated in India, and the NRI needs to apply for an ancillary Probate in India.
  • The process of Probate in a lot of offshore jurisdictions does not come to an end until the person gets the ancillary Probate in the other country (In case of NRIs- it means India).
  • In case the Will was executed in a foreign country, it is required to qualify in India, as well. Furthermore, it must fulfil all the conditions of succession in India. If they fail to meet the Indian law requirements, then it can result in a number of uncalled complications. in other terms, the place where a will is executed should be recognized and share its reciprocal jurisdiction with India
  • In India, the time it takes and the court fee involved for getting a Probate ranges between a period of 6 months to a couple of years and the fee ranges between Rs. 50,000 to a higher of 8.75% in particular Indian states. Therefore, in case there is any delay in getting a Probate, it can further delay the process of getting complete access to the assets of the departed one.

What are the Challenges Faced by NRIs if They Write Concurrent Wills?

If an NRI chooses to go for writing a will separately – one for the estates in India and one for the offshore estates then, here are few challenges faced by NRIs:

  • One needs to incur an added cost of writing a Will in both the jurisdictions and they need to confer with numerous attorneys or estate consultants.
  • It can get confusing to keep multiple Wills given the fact that if not correctly planned, it may result in a load of confusion and complication amongst the legal heirs.

When it comes to NRIs – to stay away from any issues or confusion and to make sure that the delay in legal matters in India does not have any impact on getting full access to the assets of the deceased person – it is better for an NRI to must write a Will separately.

Nevertheless, it can differ from case to case, and if you are seeking a reliable NRI law firm to help you out with writing a Will, you can take free legal advice from

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Should an NRI write a will separately for their assets?

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