There is a certain way in which one would like one’s wealth to be distributed. This makes it important for all of us who have the privilege to own assets of any kind to create a Will. However, for certain people, it is even more important to create a Will. Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are one such kind. Considering your assets are located in different nations and across investment options, Will creation would mean you are creating for yourself a database of all your properties in one place.
At the same time, you are also foretelling the manner in which they are to be divided after you. In the event of an NRI dying without creating a Will, his inheritors might not even be aware of the wealth possessed by the deceased. All these reasons make it mandatory for NRIs to create a will. Before you do that, here are certain points that you like to consider:
1. You do not need to create multiple Wills because your materials assets are spread across countries. A single Will suffice created keeping in mind the local law applying to different properties in different countries will do. However, there is an exception to this rule. In case you own a property in the United Arab Emirates, you will have to create a separate Will document and register it with the Dubai International Financial Centre. For clarity’s sake, you could, however, go for creating separate Wills for assets in different countries.
2. Your Will must be drafted keeping in mind the succession law that applies to you according to your religion. While the Hindu Succession Act covers people from Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism, succession laws for Muslims and Christians are different.
3. Registering your Will is not a must. It would be valid even otherwise. However, to ward off any legal complexities in the future, one must register it. In case you are registering your Will in a country where you now live, approach the local embassy to do so.
4. It is your personal choice how you want to distribute your wealth after you are gone. You may, by and large, be aware of the legal aspects of this, too. However, it would be the best to take assistance from experts when you are creating a Will. Since your assets are located in different countries there might arise certain complexities in the matter you might be aware of. Also be mindful of the fact that errors in your Will would lead to legal hassles for your successors.
5. While creating a Will at an early stage is part of sound financial planning, it is also advisable to review your Will from time to time. As you keep adding more assets, it should reflect in your Will. In case changes have to be made in the documents, you will have to revoke your previous Will and register the new one all over again.