A will is a formal document which sets out how a person wishes to dispose of his or her property on death. A person may make as many Wills as he wishes, but the only relevant one is the last valid will made before his death.
According to the law of succession, if a person dies without making a Will, he has died intestate, which indicates that the person has not written or left any instructions as to how his property and land is to be divided and distributed. It is already a traumatic event for the family members when a person dies, and if the person dies intestate, it spreads the pain. The matters related to the division of the assets can create rifts between the family members.
When the person or individual dies intestate, the Hindu Succession Law outlines how the property will be divided upon the death of the person. This includes any bank accounts, real estate, securities, and other assets that the deceased owns at the time of death.
Problems that arise when an individual dies without making a Will
- When someone dies without making a Will, it can create a lot of hurdles for those left behind.
- The property and land will be distributed as per the law, which may not be the equivalent as for how one would have liked to divide it.
- The legal heirs will be needed to prove their legality before claiming their rights.
- The heirs will have to apply for Letter of Administration r Succession Certificate to manage and divide the property and land of the deceased person.
- There will be time delays and expenses required in the whole process.
- There can be the challenge of illegal issues that may delay the division of property among the legal heirs for instance unavailability of updated property documents, the absence of title deed or confusion as to who is the genuine owner of the property.
- Anyone can take benefit of the lack of will and illegally claim the right to the concerned assets or illegally occupy it.
- The property dispute between the heirs may go on with certain results because of which the imperative distribution of the assets may become unnecessarily delayed.
- If the no one claims the property and land or is not able to legally prove the relationship with the deceased, the government may take over the property.
Documents needed in the Absence of a Will
- In the matter of movable property, Succession Certificate is necessary. It is a document needed by the heirs so that they can stake claim to a deceased relative’s property. One has to apply to a magistrate or in the high court to get the certificate.
- In the situation of the immovable property, Letter of Administration is required. It is a legal document issued by the court allowing the administrator to manage as well as to divide ownership of the deceased person.
- If there is more than one legal heir, then they can work with the property lawyers and distribute the property with the mutual agreement. The mutual agreement has to be signed in the presence with witnesses and then file it in the court along with the application. One needs Letter of Administration or Succession Certificate even if the legal heirs divide the property by mutual agreement.
Even if the deceased person leaves a will behind, the legal heirs suffer few problems, although if the person or individual dies intestate, i.e. without making a will, these problems may raise many folds. Hence, it is important to take the proper free legal advice from best property lawyer to solve the issues of making a Will and have a hassle-free solution.