Hoping To Inherit A Property? You Must Read This
Not all of us have to toil to build homes for ourselves and our family; some of us are lucky and hope to inherit wealth from our family and relatives in future. But, it is only advisable to understand the law that regulates matters of inheritance. Getting your hopes too high without getting the facts right might lead to a great heartburn.
Here are five points for those to consider who are hoping to inherit a property in future:
You were not aware that your late father created a will giving a lion's share of the property to your sister. As this property in question was a self-acquired one, you will not be able to challenge the will in court even if you are of the belief that your late father has been manipulated into the matter and you are being deprived of your fair share in the property.
Can it be challenged?
Suppose your uncle created a will and nominated you the owner of the property after his death. As fate would have it, your cousins challenge the will in court, which ordered one of the witnesses of the will be present to testify in your favour. As a rule, a will must be testified by at least two witnesses. If this witness does not turn up, you will lose your right over the property and it will be divided under the provisions of the Hindu succession law if you are a Hindu. The same rule applies to Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs.
Also read: Land Reforms: Digitised Records Will Help Curb Frauds, Ease Inheritance
Are close ties close enough?
Your late employer, who happened to have to family or relatives whatsoever, treated you like a son. You reciprocated and took care of him like a son through thick and thin. He expressed his will of bestowing upon his wealth time and again. However, it was found that that he did not leave a legal will ― this in legal language is known as dying intestate. In such a case, the state will take charge of his property and you will not be able to make any claims of the property, whatsoever.
Now think of a similar situation with a minor change that your late boss did have some distant relatives who approach the legal system to stake their claim over his assets. One is his distant relative from his mother's side while the other is his distant relative from father's side. The court will rule in favour of the latter in such a case. Under the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, if one dies without leaving a will, his direct will have the first claim on the assets; the second in-line relative will be next. In case the deceased did not have any direct and second in-line family members, relatives from his father's family, known as agnates, will be the to stake their claim on the property. His relatives' from the mother's side, known as cognates, would come last.
Also read: Does The Inheritance Law Deprive Women Of Their Fair Share?
Acting at will
Here is another scenario. A will is created under which your uncle divided his assets between you and your cousin equally. After his death, the two of you find out that there are certain flaws in the text. The assets and their value as mentioned in the will do not match up. In such a scenario, it would in the best interest of both the parties to sit and talk and reach an out-of-court agreement. Going to the court would mean fighting a lengthy legal battle and spending a substantial amount of money in the process. This will be a lose-lose situation for both the parties.