Q.I am 86 years old and have shares and mutual funds, for which my daughter is the nominee. After my death, can she buy/sell these? If not, how can it be done? — P. Thuse
The assignment of a nominee is sufficient to facilitate transactions in mutual funds and shares, as the same will be transferred to the nominee’s name following the demise of the investor. However, we suggest you make a will as well since the rightful ownership will be established through a will.Q.I am a 57-year-old woman living abroad and have a 60-yearold sister. Our father passed away in 2007 and mother passed away in 2011. Since our parents’ death, our two brothers and one older sister have stopped talking to us. We were not informed about the parental properties and their money in banks. My father died without leaving a will. My mother, according to sources, transferred her property, an apartment, to our younger brother. Do we have any grounds to claim our share in parental properties? The house and lands may have been sold by the brothers. — H. Bassam
Being class I legal heirs, you have the right to stake a claim in your parents’ properties if they died without making a will. However, if they have gifted the properties to someone during their life time, it would be difficult to claim a share in these or to challenge the gift. To initiate legal procedure for staking a claim in parental property, you should have relevant documents, deeds, statements, and details of assets in which the legal heirs hold a claim.
Q.My mother is the oldest of five siblings, all others being her brothers, and the youngest no longer alive. In Mangalore, the family’s undivided ancestral property is in my grandmother’s name, who is no more. When she was alive, we were informed verbally that the property would be shared among my grandmother’s five children, along with two shares for her daughter’s children. Will this be valid in court or as per law? I have one brother. Are we entitled to receive a share of the undivided property? —Sudhir K.V.
An oral or verbal will is not considered valid, except for the people mentioned in Sections 65 and 66 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925. Proving the impact of verbal declaration or intention of disposition in a court of law is also challenging. In the absence of a will, the distribution of property is governed by the Hindu Succession Act. In this scenario, the assets would be divided equally among living siblings, which includes your mother, with the children of the deceased siblings sharing the portion that would have been allocated to their parent, based on the provisions of the Act. Hence, your mother can claim her share in the property. However, as your mother is alive, you, as her children, cannot make any claim.
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.