Q.I am a 32-year-old married woman. Do I have a right to my father’s self-acquired and ancestral properties if he passes away without a will? — S. Saxena
According to the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, a daughter has the same right to her father’s self-acquired property as the son, irrespective of her marital status. Hence, if your father passes away intestate, you will have the same right to his self-acquired property as all his class I legal heirs. If, however, he chooses to will this property to someone else, you cannot stake a claim to it, though you can contest the will as you are a class I legal heir. As for the ancestral property, you will have a right to it by virtue of your birth.Q.I am 76 years old and have two self-acquired properties, one of which is self-occupied. I have two children who are financially independent and have their own houses. However, I want to give one property each to both the sons. Should I pass on the houses through a will or should I execute a gift deed for transferring these? — Vimal Gupta
If you want to transfer the properties after your death, you can write a will clearly stating the details of the properties and specifying the beneficiaries. You should also get the will registered for greater authenticity and smooth transfer of properties in order to minimise any disputes later on. If, however, you want to transfer the properties immediately while you are still alive, you can execute gift deeds for the same. If one of the properties is self-occupied, it is advisable to transfer it via a will after your death in order to retain control over it till you are alive.
Q.My mother has three brothers and one sister. My grandfather passed away recently without a will, leaving behind two self-acquired properties. My uncles claim that the sisters have no right to these properties as they were given sufficient dowries at their weddings. Does my mother, along with my aunt, have any right to these properties? —Tapan S.
If your grandfather passed away without a will and the properties were self-acquired, then all class I legal heirs will have an equal right to these properties. Since your mother and aunt are class I legal heirs, they can stake a claim to the two properties. Their marital status or transfer of dowry has no bearing on their legal right to stake a claim to these properties.
Q.I have been divorced for the past three years and have not remarried. I have a seven-yearold son. Will he have any right to the ancestral property of my husband? — Shilpi
By virtue of his birth, your son will have a right to your ex-husband’s ancestral property, irrespective of the fact that you are divorced, or if your husband remarries and has other children.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.