Crafting a Will: Simplifying the daunting task of gathering asset information

While the importance of creating a Will for the seamless transfer of assets is widely acknowledged, a significant number of individuals still hesitate to undertake this crucial task. Reasons range from the discomfort of contemplating mortality to sheer procrastination. However, one common hurdle is the perceived complexity of gathering the extensive data required for the Will. This article aims to demystify the process, offering a systematic approach to collecting essential asset information for a comprehensive and hassle-free Will.

Understanding the data required:


To initiate the Will-writing process, individuals need to be aware of the specific information required. Contrary to common belief, detailed valuations of investments are often unnecessary. Instead, focus on capturing unique and unchanging identifiers, such as customer IDs, account numbers, and Demat account details.

Categorizing asset data collection:

Banking data:

  • Include savings and current accounts across various banks.
  • For FDs and RDs, mention the savings account number or customer ID, avoiding the need to list changing FD numbers.

Mutual funds and Demat accounts:

  • Utilize NSDL’s Common Account Services (CAS) for collating mutual fund and demat account information.
  • Avoid the hassle of listing changing folio numbers; mention all linked mutual funds and attach the latest CAS statement.

Physical securities:

  • Capture unique identification numbers like folio numbers and policy numbers for physically held assets.
  • Separate mention should be made for shares, bonds, or securities held in physical form.

Immovable property:

  • Provide detailed information on the most valuable assets, including full addresses, plot/survey numbers, joint owners’ names, and area (for land).
  • Jewelry and paintings should include physical locations and detailed descriptions.

Residual assets:

  • Incorporate a well-defined clause in the Will for assets not explicitly mentioned.
  • Residual assets, acquired post-Will or unintentionally omitted, should have clear bequeathal instructions.

Ensuring Will accuracy:

  • Regularly update the Will with the latest CAS statements or relevant documents.
  • Although legally not mandatory, listing assets in the Will facilitates seamless execution.

Crafting a Will need not be a daunting task, especially when armed with a clear understanding of the required asset information. By adopting a systematic approach, individuals can ensure that their Will accurately reflects their wishes, easing the burden on the executor during the execution process. Including comprehensive asset details in the Will lays the foundation for a hassle-free transfer and distribution of assets, safeguarding the legacy for the intended beneficiaries.