A 29-year-old interior designer, a 32-year-old corporate executive and a restaurant owner in his early 40s are among people who are rushing to their lawyers to draft a will. The steadily mounting cases and uncertainty over treatment and development of a vaccine for coronavirus has led to an increase in anxiety. The prolonged lockdown has provided a fertile ground for worries to grow.
Lawyers are reporting a sudden surge in the demand for drawing up a will. Young professionals, entrepreneurs and even those in family businesses are leaving nothing to chance, painfully aware about the randomness in the way corona targets an individual and their vulnerability in the absence of a vaccine.
The pandemic has not only stopped the country in its tracks but also shattered the confidence of people, says advocate Neoma Vasdev.
More assets leading youngsters to make wills, say lawyers
She says she was taken aback when many people in the 30-45 age-group approached her for a will. “We are witnessing a rush for drafting wills, triggered by a growing awareness among people that lockdown or no lockdown, one has to be prepared for the inevitable perils of this disease. Undoubtedly, this is very unnatural because with medical advancement, one does not anticipate people below 55 to come for a will,” she observes. “Almost all my clients are going for mutual wills where one spouse is protected by the other by willing them everything after which it goes to the next generation.”
With disposable incomes having gone up in the past decade when both spouses work, young professionals amass considerable assets in property and shares by the time they reach the 40s. It is the need to secure these assets that appears to have spurred people to get their wills made.
Advocate Virender Goswami agrees. “ We usually receive queries on estate management and preparing of wills from senior people, if they are suffering from some ailment or are about to undergo some difficult medical procedure. But during the current lockdown, we have got more such requests from otherwise healthy, young persons, perhaps jittery over the uncertainty of the present times,” he adds.
Advocate Gaurang Kanth says one reason this trend has caught on is because getting a will made is not a long-drawn legal process. “It is a good idea to register a will but that isn’t mandatory, making it a less complicated exercise. The document can be made by anyone with two witnesses, who may be family members but are not beneficiaries of the will. They need to be present at the time of signing of the will by its maker though they need not be aware of its contents,” Kanth explained.