Anonymous
Asked August 16, 2016

How to avoid clashes over Ancestral property

  • 1 Answer
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My great grandfather died without distributing the property among his children (3 sons). On of which has died recently and other two including my grandfather is in his 90's. They also have not divided the property so far. This is creating lot of tension and leading to conflicts among the family members. To avoid mess after the death of my grandfather, what precautionary legal steps i must take right now when my grandfather is alive for smooth transition of my ancestral property to my father. Also to avoid any legal issues which my cousins may create after the death of my grandfather? Please advice.

Answer 1

The best way to ensure an easy devolution of ancestral property is through a Will. In order to avoid any legal issues amongst the family members you should ask your grandfather to write a Will distributing his property as evenly as possible. According to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956[1], any Hindu can dispose by means of will, any property which in accordance with the Indian Succession Act, 1925. Schedule I and II of the Hindu Succession Act specify the categories of relationship in the order in which they are entitled to receive the property being devolved by its owner. A will needs to be made by the testator in the form of a written document, in the presence of two witnesses and needs to be signed by him.[2] Whether or not your grandfather is legally capable of making a Will can be confirmed from the guidelines laid down under the Indian Succession Act, Section 59.

In my personal opinion, sometimes, issues arise amongst the family members after the formation of the will. Under such circumstances, you must remember that a will can be changed as many times as desired, by the person devolving his/her property while they are alive. Also, ideally, the contents of a will should not be unveiled until after the death of the testator. These two are possibly the best ways to keep the family conflicts, pertaining to devolution of ancestral property, at bay.

 

[1] Section 30 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956

[2] Section 63 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925

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