Find answers to common estate related queries which most of the people face in their lives.
Raj Lakhotia, Founder, Dilsewill answers readers’ queries related to estate planning.
Q.Does a Hindu woman’s marital status affect her right to make a claim to her father’s property and assets? — M. Saxena
According to the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act 2005, a daughter has the same rights as a son to her father’s self-acquired property and assets, irrespective of her marital status, unless specified otherwise by the father in his will.
Q.My grandfather had remarried after his first wife died in an accident. He has three children from his first marriage and one (my mother) from the second. Will my mother have the same rights to his properties as her step-siblings if he dies without writing a will? — Asit S.
Since the child from a second marriage is a Class I legal heir, he will have the same inheritance rights to his father’s self-acquired property as a child from the first marriage, if the father dies without a will. However, the father has a right to include, exclude or specify beneficiaries to his self-acquired property through a will. The child will also have a right to ancestral property by virtue of his birth. So if your grandfather dies without a will, your mother will have a right to his self-acquired and ancestral properties.
Q.My husband passed away last year without writing a will. I am a nominee and joint holder for all his accounts and investments. Will I face a problem in transferring these to my name? — Smita Sharma
A nominee only acts as a trustee for the assets of the deceased and these are ultimately passed on to legal heirs or beneficiaries specified in a will. However, as a Class I legal heir, nominee and joint holder, you should not have a problem in the transfer of assets if you provide the relevant documents specified by the financial organisation.
Q.I have two brothers and I got married about five years ago. At the time of my wedding, my father had given me dowry and verbally assured my brothers that he would leave his properties to them, not to me. Last year, he died without writing a will and my brothers are refusing to give me any share in these houses. Do I have a legal right to make a claim to these properties? — P. Kaur
Since you are a Class I legal heir, you will have the same right as your brothers to your deceased father’s self-acquired properties if he dies without writing a will, irrespective of any verbal assurances. If, however, he has left behind a will specifying your brothers as beneficiaries, then you cannot stake a claim to the properties, though you can still contest the will.
Disclaimer: The responses are based on limited facts provided by the queries. It is advisable to consult a legal practitioner after presenting full facts and documents. Responses should not be considered as legal advice in any manner whatsoever.