A will is a legal document that helps a person (also known as testator) declare his/her intention to distribute his/her assets which shall take effect after the death of the testator.  There are certain types of properties you can’t include while making a will and they are as follows:
  • Joint Tenancy Property
  • Property in a living trust
  • Life insurance (of a deceased person)
  • Retirement plans [like pension, IRA and 401(k)]
  • Stocks and beneficiary (already in the name of beneficiary)
  • Bank account proceeds
An oral will is a type of will that is made verbally to other people with an intention to tell how his/her assets are to be distributed after death. It is considered as a deathbed will or nuncupative will.
Yes, a person is allowed to include a joint property in a will or testament. Though, he is permitted to mention only his part of the joint property in his/her will.
As per the rules and regulations, a beneficiary is not permitted to be an attesting witness.

Will registration is not mandatory in India and it is admissible if other necessary steps are taken like signature of two witnesses, the testator shall be major and of sound mind. As per Section 18 of the Registration Act, 1908, there is no condition that makes registration of will mandatory, therefore, there shall be no question on the validity of unregistered will.

There is no such explicit provision in law stating that a registered will shall be probated, though, if a will is probated then it will be conclusive evidence to prove the genuinity of the will. In case of any dispute amongst legal heirs, then they can file a probate application under S. 276 (1) of the Indian Succession Act, 1925.
A probate is a judicial proceeding where the authenticity of a will is to be decided by the court of law and is a valid public document (last testament of the deceased) after the court’s stamp.
As per the provisions of the Limitations Act, there is no time limit for filing an application for probation of will (registered or unregistered). However, if the application is filed after three years of the testator’s death, then there shall be a valid reason to back the delay. If the validity of the Will is called into question, the situation becomes more complicated.
Probate is a way of validating a will either registered or unregistered. Therefore, an unregistered will can also be registered.
The main difference between the two is that a Will is a legal document in which a testator can express his/her desire about the disposition of the assets after his/her death, whereas a Probate is a certified copy of the Will by a court of competent jurisdiction.
An executor needs to know all the details of the Last Will like detailed information of the assets or debts, financial records, names, addresses and contact numbers of the attorneys.
An executor is not permitted to have or take everything mentioned in the will until he/she is sole beneficiary. It is a fiduciary to the beneficiaries of the estate, although not necessarily one of them.  

Serving as an executor only entitles someone to receive an executor fee. While the executor fee will come from the estate funds, it is a legal entitlement to be paid for their time and effort as approved by the court and not an inheritance.
When the executor is also a beneficiary of the will, they are entitled to receive their inheritance on top of the executor fee. However, the executor cannot modify the terms of the will. As a fiduciary, the executor has a legal duty to act in the beneficiaries and estate’s best interests and distribute the assets according to the will. This means that an executor cannot allocate all assets to themselves unless they are the sole beneficiary of the will or if the will expressly gives them the power to do so, which is uncommon.

The probate court has given an executor permission to administer the estate's affairs. The money in the estate can be used in whichever way the executors think is best for the estate and desires of the beneficiaries.
The fact that an executor is a fiduciary to the estate is the most significant constraint on his or her activities. This means that executors must always act in the best interests of the estate. As an executor, you should be prepared to explain why each decision you make is the greatest option for the estate's best interests.

This requirement is intended to curb executors conducting the affairs of the estate in their own self-interest. It’s particularly important when the executor is also a beneficiary. Because the law gives executors a good deal of power in directing the assets of the estate, the court takes this measure to address any potential conflicts of interest.

An executor is obligatory towards the beneficiaries and shall keep the beneficiaries in loop while making decisions related to the assets of the testator.

Yes. An executor's role as a beneficiary is fairly frequent. When one spouse passes away, the decedent's living spouse is usually designated executor. Children are frequently listed as beneficiaries as well as executors of wills/trustees of family trusts.

Previous

Next