Succession of Wealth - WILL Drafting

Hallo Zerodha Team,

I see that gradually there are many services introduced by your team such as seamless tax filing, insurance services via Ditto etc. which in my opinion is a great value addition apart from your core services. May I know if you have any plans of introducing WILL Drafting services or something in these lines. I see that other companies such as ICICI Direct, HDFCSec have such WILL Writing services. I believe it might be a good idea to have this service in Zerodha too.

I would be very glad to know if Zerodha has any plans in this regard.

Thanks and Regards,

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I would prefer, my will, to be drafted and written by a lawyer. This has many advantages, such as discussion, and letting them know what exactly you want and wish for. Apart from that, the Will needs to be registered. If you own properties, the details of this needs to be incorporated. Do remember to register the will as well. If not, I am told it is not valid. Hence, it would be better you discuss with a lawyer where you stay, draft it, read it, finalise it and get it registered.

Do remember, it is better to write the Will in English as it is universally accepted. If you draft a will in your local language and register it, you need to get it translated to English if you have, say, property in another state and beneficiary wish to sell them. It becomes extremely cumbersome to get it translated and then attest it and what not.

My mother had a will written in English duly registered, property was in Bangalore, even with the Will being in English, the guy started asking that this needs to be translated to Kannada, etc (just to get some money out of me). As a will is comprehensive which includes other assets, he was asking how much stock and shares and bank deposit my mother had etc. In the end got it done, immagine if the will was written in local language of another state what all things he would asked.

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I think its a problem only if its contested by someone. There is no legal requirement to register a will. It doesn’t even have to be on a stamp paper or notarised.

Registering a will does not provide it legal sanctity or remove suspicion about its validity, so yes, even a sound will can be contested in court. You should do it anyway as it has greater authenticity than a non-registered will, proves its genuineness, and significantly reduces the grounds on which it can be contested.


Just a question. I have no idea about “will” except from what I see in movies. Being very honest here!

Just what exactly is written in will. I mean do they straight away write a list of assets going to which family member in event of death or some emotional philosophical message followed by the list giving reasons?

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The will is basically a legal document which tells the authority or anyone as to whom a specific asset goes to on death. This document is of paramount importance especially when a person dies and he lets the heirs know to whom the assets is being transferred.

You can include all of your assets such as property, shares, debentures, fixed deposits, jewellery. Details of the property will be mentioned as to location etc. The lawyers wanted the title deed of the property so that they can copy the area, location etc to be very specific. It comes as an attachment.
Any thing which has value and to whom it should go to. The beneficiary name, ID number etc all will be mentioned to ensure that the right beneficiary gets it. The document will also have a line saying, assets as of now and in future. Because the will could be written today with the assets and the person lives for another 20 years, so you can mention in the will that any assets in future which is not mentioned in the will should also go the beneficiary. If the maker of the will wants to ammend or change the same, he can do so while ammending it and registering the same.

Even banks need this for their savings account as well. However, since this is too cumbersome for all retail customers, bankers have come out with a nomination facility which gives similar right and bankers just need to comply with what is mentioned in the nomination and do not insist on the will.

Previous generations was somewhat reluctant to write a will as it was considered supersticious that the person might die etc. This is a mind bloc but nowadays it is quite normal. My father did not write a will, We always thought that his property will automatically go to his wife. This was our assumption, when we went for ammendment of property docs we got a shocker that the property now goes to Wife and children in equal proportion. None of us knew this and we all assumed it would go to wife. Hence it is important that the person discuss everything with a lawyer and then write. Charges are nominal when compared to peace of mind. Because of this experience, my mother wrote the will.

The registrar when signing off the will document, will call the person and reads the will in front and repetedly asks if the person writing the will do indeed want to give these assets to the beneficiary. He will repeat more than once to gets satisfied that the person is of sound mind and knows what he has written and there is no foul play.

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Yes this is what the lawyer said too, but with a simple paper will, you still need to get to the courts and get it authenticated before any transfers happen to the beneficiary.

Try submitting a simple will on a white paper to the lands department of another state and ask them to transfer the property based on the simple paper will. With a registered will and in english had to run around for a month or so and had to pay under the table to get the transaction done.

Registering a will is just a normal procedure, there is nothing much to it in any case so why not do it.

In the past, we’ve explored partnering with a few startups trying to solve for similar will and estate-planning solutions.

The issue with this is data security : succession planning-related applications store the most sensitive kind of personal information. As such, the consequences of a data breach of such sensitive information could be quite severe.

Moreover, there is no regulatory oversight over such applications at present. Banks, brokers and other regulated entities are all subjected to regular cyber audits by the RBI/SEBI, which is not the case with will/ succession-planning apps. The risk of a data breach is hence proportionately higher.

While we’re looking at this space pretty closely, can’t really promise if and when we’ll be able to offer this functionality. Perhaps the proposed new Data Protection Act will help in this regard.


Looking forward for a solution from Zerodha in this regard. I strongly believe that the solution will be thorough when it is implemented by Zerodha just like its core services.

We are exploring all ways to offer something like this. Check out the link above. Currently in the AA framework only read access is operational for UNR - meaning one can check nominees allotted for each of the linked accounts. And eventually AA framework will make it easier for people to check nominees in each of the linked accounts and then even change the nominees.

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