How to write a WILL in India? | Download Sample WILL format

How to write a WILL in India? Let me share with you the sample WILL format which you can download. Estate planning is a part of financial planning where you are making a plan in advance and naming whom you want to receive your assets after you die. WILL is an important document of estate planning.

How to write a WILL in India Download Sample WILL format

A WILL is a legal document that clearly sets out your wishes for the distribution of your assets after your death. It should be done in the presence of two witnesses.

There are various examples in front of us where how not having proper WILL created a mess in the next generation. Take for example the case of the Ambani Family, Singhania Family, Kirloskar Family, Nanda Family, Wadia Family or even within Bajaj Family.

Any person who is a major and has good mental health can make a will. A will obtained by force or undue influence will not be valid as it has not been made by the free will of the testator. A person can make a will at any time during his lifetime, provided he is a major. There is no restriction on age or the number of times a will can be made.

Drafting a Will is a very easiest job and at the same time the most neglected aspect. Legally speaking, you can just jot down all the properties’ or assets’ details in a piece of paper (Stamp paper is not required). Mention the beneficiaries’ name(s) and sign on it. Get it attested by two independent witnesses. It is recommended that witnesses should not be the beneficiaries of your will. This is because they should not stand to gain from your Will.

Terminologies used in a WILL

  • Testator – The person who makes the Will
  • Beneficiary(ies) – The person(s) who inherits property under a Will
  • Executor – The testator’s legal representative who will execute the Will. He/she is the person who distributes the assets as per the Will.
  • Codicil – This is a legal document used to append, alter or add to an existing Will. Minor changes in the Will can be made using a Codicil

Important sections of WILL

  • Personal Details – You have to state your name, father’s name, residential address, Date of Birth etc.,
  • Declaration of Date – It is very important to clearly mention the date of preparing WILL.
  • Validate Free Will – You can mention that you are not under any influence and you are not forced to prepare this Will by any person.
  • Provide Executor’s Details – Executor is the person who will implement/execute your Will. Hence, clearly mention his/her name, address, your relationship with him/her, age etc.,
  • Details of Assets & Beneficiaries – This is a very important section. List all immovable properties with clear addresses. Mention the movable assets like bank deposits, insurance, units of mutual funds etc., Mention the name of beneficiary(ies) for each asset. (For Mutual Funds – mention the Folio no’s)
  • Signature – Sign the Will after mentioning the above details
  • Signature of Witnesses – You have to get the Will attested by minimum two witnesses. Make sure that they mention their father’s names and addresses.

How to write a WILL in India? | Download Sample WILL format

Let us move on to the procedure of how to write a WILL in India. Let me share with you few important points which you have to consider while writing a WILL.

  • A Will is considered as a living document. You can make as many changes as you want.
  • You should be more than 18 years of age
  • You have to review your WILL if you buy / sell assets.
  • You can change beneficiaries or the Executor names at any point of time. You may make a Codicil.
  • It is not mandatory to appoint an Executor however it is preferred
  • If possible make sure that the two witnesses and the executor are younger than you.
  • You may mention minor children as the beneficiaries. But, you have to nominate guardians for them.
  • Jointly held properties can be included in your Will. Only to the extent of your share in those kind of assets can be distributed by you in your Will.
  • If you have mentioned nominee name while investing in Bonds or Shares then he/she will be the beneficiary. The nomination supersedes the Will. This is applicable for investments which fall under the purview of the Companies Act. As per the recent judgements of Supreme Court, the Companies and Depositories Act cannot take precedence over the laws of succession. In the recent Indrani Wahi case, though it was regarding a Housing Cooperative Society property succession, it was made clear that the legal heirs have always the right to pursue his case of succession or inheritance. Hence, nominee here too acts like a trusty to transfer the assets to legal heirs.
  • For all the other investments like Real estate, mutual funds, bank accounts, insurance policies etc., your Will supersedes the nomination.
  • A Joint Will can be made. Both spouses can write a joint Will. However, such joint WILL can take effect only after the death of both and not during lifetime of either one.
  • You can cancel or revoke the Will at any point of time.
  • In case of Christians and Parsis the WILL gets cancelled/revoked on marriage.
  • Muslim are mainly governed by their personal laws in respect to WILL and inheritance. As a general rule Muslims can make a WILL of only 1/3 rd of his/her properties and the remaining properties are distributed as per the succession mentioned in Sharia laws.

Let me share with you the sample WILL format.

I, Shri/Smt ………………….. son/daughter/wife of Shri ……………..,resident of …………………., by religion………….., do hereby revoke all my previous Wills (or) Codicils and declare that this is my last Will, which I make on this …….(Date)………………… My Date of Birth is ………….

I declare that I am in good health and possess a sound mind. This Will is made by me  without any persuasion or coercion and out of my own independent decision only.

I appoint Shri………………….. Son/daughter of ……………, resident of …………. to be the executor of this Will. In the event Shri…………… were to predecease me, then Shri……………., will be the executor of this Will.

I bequeath the following assets to my Wife Smt……………..

1. My house located at………(address)………

2. Bank balance of my savings account no…………………..with ……………(bank name & bank address)………

3. My Bank fixed deposits in …….(bank name)…..bearing ……..(FD receipt nos)……..

4. The proceeds of my Term insurance policy ….(Policy no)……, from…….(insurance company name)………

5. The contents of bank locker no………, with bank…………, bank address……………

I bequeath the following assets to my son Shri……………

1. Residential Plot no…….., located at…………….

2. My car with registration no……….

3. My mutual fund investments with folio numbers…………………..

4. Any other asset not mentioned in this Will but of which I am the owner.

All the above assets are owned by me. No one else has rights on these properties.

 Signature of Testator


We hereby attest that this Will has been signed by Shri………….as his last Will at ………(Place)……… in the joint presence of himself and us. The testator is in sound mind and made this Will without any coercion.

Signature of Witness (1)                                                       Signature of Witness (2)  

Please click the link to “Download Sample WILL format“.  

I hope this information is useful for those who are looking for sample WILL format.

42 Responses

  1. Dear Sir,
    Thanks for your excellent and simple service. Hats off to you.
    Questions: (1) Is it necessary to list all assets separately in the will? Suppose I wish to divide all assets equally between my two children can I simply mention “all my real and personal property wherever situated in India”? (2) Alternately, if I have to list each asset, do I have to keep making codicils each time those assets change? (3) If me and my spouse want our combined assets to be beneficial to the other in case of death of one and transfer to children thereafter; is it better to make a jointly signed will or is it better to make two separate wills by each spouse?

    1. Dear Kaushik,
      Thanks for your kind words.
      1) Better to mention all the assets separately.
      2) Not required.
      3) Better it to be jointly.

  2. I have a house, a landed ancestral property yet to be transferred in my name (parents have already expired several years back ),PPF account, 2 Bank accounts , mutual funds, shares, in my name and have also Bank FDs in the name of my wife. I have appointed nominee in all moveable assets as my wife. I have two daughters one married and another still to be married. My intention is that in case of my death, the both immovable and moveable assets are first transferred to my wife and after her death equally to both my daughters . Is it legally possible and if so how to draft will. Do I have to jointly execute the will with my wife and if so please provide me a suitable draft.

    1. Dear Ashok,
      Yes, possible. Jointly not required. Regarding the draft, you can use the same (cutomize yourself).

  3. Sir,
    Very useful information.
    Please guide me on the process of Registration of WILL. Is it required to be registered in a court of Law?
    If I make a WILL on a plain paper, will it be legally registered? How much fee needs to be paid in the court of Law? Do I need to produce WILL in the court through a Lawer?

  4. Hello Sir,

    Can we make a will wherein we divide the percentage of house to childran? I mean when the house will be sold then that percentage would be given to the children?

    Also my father own a business (a firm) which is on rented property and we want to pass this business to one child, is it doable ?

  5. If I am the only child for my parents, is will necessary? Can I change title just by using legal heir certificate?

  6. The format is very well made. So easy to understand and implement.
    I have foll. doubts can you pls guide me

    Can my dad write in a plain paper??
    Is it necessary to register the WILL??
    Do we need a Dr’s certificate to prove he is sound health??

    1. Dear Shilpa,
      Yes, plain paper is enough. Registration of WILL is not necessary. Better to get certificate if he is suffering from certain ailments.

  7. Sir
    What is the value of bond paper we should buy to write the will
    How much is the registration charges we have to pay to
    get the will registered

  8. Wonderful service.. Everything is so clearly explained.. Our best wishes to you for the service you are rendering.

  9. Dear sir, your information is very efficient by which it makes a lay man into a law man.
    Thank you
    Nasir Shaikh

  10. Dear Sir,
    Kindly advise in case of a flat , can it be given to two children equally or only the first girl child who is married has a benefit. Can the second girl child who is divorced have a equal share.


  11. “A Joint Will can be made. Both spouses can write a joint Will. However, such joint WILL can take effect only after the death of both and not during lifetime of either one.”

    As I understand, if one spouse die then survived spouse can cancel or modify or make new WILL. Is this true?

  12. Respected Basu ji,

    Your Article was always outstanding.
    It always added meaningful information to me.

    One request Sir,
    And more Article on Health Insurance Subject.

    Thank u.

    1. Dear Vikas,
      Regarding the the claim incurred ratio of health insurers, it hardly matters for our buying and hence I am ignoring to publish.

  13. 1. Apart from bonds and shares are there any other investment where nominee will supercede WILL provision?
    2. This means nominee mentioned in DMAT account will get shares and bonds held in dmat account even if WILL says some thing different. 3. What about MF held in DMAT account?
    Pl do clarify all points.

    1. Dear Dipak,
      I was wrongly in the impression that companies act overtakes the rules. However, based on recent court judgments it is legal heir laws that will supersede the nomination. Corrected the same.

  14. Respected Basu Ji
    You are doing a great service to the society . It is highly useful article , particularly senior citizens, who for want of awareness, are not in a position to take healthy financial decisions. I will update them on the basis of the detail given in my inter action with them in our week end get together.

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