Frequently asked questions by NRIs on Will & Trust

Q: What is a will?

A: A will is a legal document that expresses a person’s wishes for what should be done with his or her property after he or she dies. You can also use a will to appoint an executor, name a guardian for your children, set up property management for young beneficiaries, or forgive debts.

Q: Who needs a will?

A: Most people should have a will. Even if you don’t think you need a will to distribute your property, you may need to make a will to name an executor or guardian(s) for your children.

Q: What happens if I die without a will?

A: If you die without a will, state law will determine who will get your property—usually, this will be your “closest” relatives, like a spouse, parents, children, or siblings. Each state has its own formula for determining the portion these close relatives receive. If no relative can be found, the property goes to the state—but this rarely happens. Any debts owed by the estate will be paid before property is distributed to relatives. Dying without a will is called dying “intestate.”

Q: Who should draft my will?

A: You can make a will yourself, or you can have an attorney draft one for you. If you make your own will, use a high-quality do-it-yourself template that keeps up to date with state-specific laws.

Q: Can I appoint a guardian for my children in my will?

A: Yes. A will is the best place to indicate who should be your child’s guardian. Keep in mind, however, that courts will not automatically appoint the person you name. A court will always consider your choice, but it will also assess the situation and then appoint the person it thinks will do the best job for your child. Also, if your child has another living parent, that parent will care for the child—the court will not name a guardian unless that other parent is found to be unfit.

Q: What’s the difference between a revocable trust and an irrevocable trust?

A: A revocable trust is one that can be modified or revoked at any time. This type of trust normally becomes irrevocable when the trust maker dies. An irrevocable trust cannot be changed.

Q: I have properties in India. Can I include my properties in the Trust in the USA?

A: Trusts in India do not hold good for trusts in the USA and vice-versa. But, in the will here in the USA, you can write that the proceeds from Indian trust will be distributed as per the will.

Q: I am in H1B. Do I need to have a will & trust in the USA?

A: NRIs, irrespective of your immigration status, are advised to have a will & trust

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Frequently asked questions by NRIs on Will & Trust

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