The disposal and distribution of property and estate after one’s demise is an important social custom. Wills or Testaments play a major role in this indispensable custom and are always the deciding factor when it comes to estate distribution and executor allocation. Wills can either be privileged or unprivileged, and each type has its specifications and utilities. As we know, one can execute a will only after the death of the testator. So, to make sure you distribute your property in a just way, you need to have a good knowledge of the entire concept of Wills and testaments. 

Read on to find out more about wills, their types, and specifications before making the crucial move of making your will. 

General Types of Will:

The following are the general types of Will or Testaments:

  • Privileged will
  • Unprivileged will
  • Conditional will
  • Joint will
  • Mutual will
  • Duplicate will
  • Concurrent will
  • Sham will
  • Holograph will
  • Oral will

In this article, you will get to know about privileged wills and unprivileged wills, their specifications, advantages, and utilities. 

Privileged Wills

Privileged wills are informal wills that have the same features and legal importance as any testament. To make a privileged will, you have to be a part of active military service. However, you won’t have to be in an active war zone to make a privileged will. Considering the inherent dangers involved in their field, military people have the privilege to testate an informal will with reduced formalities. Privileged wills can be in an oral form too. 

Advantages of a privileged will:

  • Unlike other forms of wills, the privileged will doesn’t have an age limit. It also facilitates minors in the armed forces to make a will.
  • The Indian inheritance act also provides tax exemption for people in active military service.
  • It provides extended validity for will execution – that is, one still has a hold on the will, even after he retires from active military services.
  • It has fewer formalities when compared to other wills. One can execute a privileged will even at short notice. 

Though a privileged will has the above advantages, an unprivileged will has many more benefits, and experts consider it to be better than a privileged will. 

Read on to find out more about unprivileged wills and how they make a better option. 

Unprivileged Wills:

Any person can frame an unprivileged will, with the main concern being that it must be in a written form. It requires at least two witnesses and the signature affixation of the testator. The main criteria this type of will carries is that the words must be intelligible and clear. And, as per Section 63, the testator must mention his intentions behind the property distribution. You will have to appoint an executor, preferably an attorney, to execute your will and distribute your property after your demise. 

Advantages of an unprivileged will:

  • It facilitates dispute-free property distribution. It also helps when the testator wishes to make donations post his demise. 
  • Sometimes, your legal heirs might not be aware of your estates and assets. Therefore, by making an unprivileged will, you can keep track of all your assets.
  • Making an unprivileged will at the early stages will provide financial security for your family in case of unexpected accidents.
  • Drafting an unprivileged will would eliminate legal hassles during property distribution. 

Is An Unprivileged Will Better Than A Privileged Will?

Anyone can create an unprivileged will in India. However, to create a privileged will, you must be a part of active military service. Therefore, an unprivileged will is the most recommended type of will that suits the needs of everyone.

An unprivileged can never give space for tampering. Contrarily, since privileged wills can be in oral form, it is prone to tampering. This way, it can lead to legal issues and hassles during property distribution. 

Furthermore, on retirement from active military service, you will have to revoke your privileged will to make it eligible for execution. The process can be tiresome and has a lot of legalities. On the other hand, there are no specific criteria for the eligibility of an unprivileged will.

By considering the above points, we can conclude that unprivileged wills are better than privileged wills and are the most recommended type of wills.

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Frequently asked questions

  1. Can I execute an unprivileged will before my demise?

No, you cannot execute a will before your demise. However, to ensure your testament gets executed just as you have mentioned, you can appoint a trustworthy executor. The law recommends appointing an attorney as your executor to execute your will post your demise.

  1. Should I register my unprivileged will?

No, it is not compulsory to register your unprivileged will. However, if you wish to ensure the safety of your will and prevent tampering, you can always register it with the Sub-registrar. 

  1. Should I revoke my privileged will?

You can revoke your privileged will while you remain in a privileged status without having to fulfill the formalities of a conventional will. However, if you do not remain in a privileged status anymore and still wish to revoke your will, you can do it according to the Wills Act of 1837.

  1. Should I inform my spouse of the changes I make to my will?

Though not compulsory, you can inform your spouse about the changes you make to your will. However, you must keep updating your attorney and executor on the changes you make. This way, you can avoid legal issues and hassles during property distribution.

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