I want the best education for my kids. How can I mention that in a Will?

July 3, 2024

I am 35 years old and married with 2 kids. I have investments in mutual funds and stocks. I mentioned nominees for both of my investments. Should I write a Will separately? I want my children to get the best education in a good school until they are 18, which cannot be compromised if I am not around. Can I include that in my Will as well? 

It is advisable to execute a Will, even though you may have nominations in respect of your financial investments, for the following key reasons:

While the nominee may acquire the assets from the relevant financial institution after your demise, he/she is not entitled to the beneficial ownership of such assets. He/she is akin to a trustee and must hold the assets on behalf of your legal heirs. Your legal heirs would be the individuals you name in your Will or, if you fail to make a Will, then as per the law of succession applicable to you. To avoid confusion or disputes after your demise, it is advisable that you make a Will and keep the legal heirs under the Will consistent with the nominations. 

A Will is also recommended for assets that may not have a provision for nomination, such as land, partnership interests, and jewellery. Even if you may not have such assets as of date, your Will will also cover assets acquired or inherited by you in the future.

Further, under your Will, you can name an individual who will act as a guardian for your minor children after the demise of you and your spouse until they attain the age of majority. You may specify in your Will that such a guardian shall apply your assets towards your desired objectives, including ensuring a good education for your children. Alternatively, you may create a trust under your Will (called a testamentary trust) for the benefit of your children and direct the trustees to do so till the children attain the age of majority.

Can I mention in my will that my kids must receive my assets only at the age of 21? Until then, the dividend, rent, and interest income should be reinvested.

Usually, when assets are bequeathed to a minor under a Will, the guardian of such minor deals with the assets till the child attains the age of majority. Once the child becomes major, then the child may deal with such assets as he/she pleases.

If you wish to provide in your Will that your children must receive the assets only at the age of 21 years (instead of at majority), then this may be achieved either by giving interest in the assets to someone else (including the executor of the Will) till the children turn 21 or to create a trust under the Will (called testamentary trust) for the children till they attain the age of 21 years. 

In both these cases, you may direct the executor / trustees to reinvest income from the assets such as dividend, rent, interest income etc. into identified investment avenues; you may also prohibit them from selling some or all assets.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author. All content provided is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice.

Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

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