The validity of a Will is determined by a testamentary court

The Private Client team at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas shares their comments and opinions in an article in the  following Q&A which was published by the Mint Newspaper on 26th May, 2021 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

My grandmother executed a Will and got it registered at the sub-registrar’s office. While putting her thumb impression, she did it twice. She is educated and appended her signature on it. The staff captured her image and took her thumb impression on the computer, too. Will it affect the genuineness of the Will?

—Chimnay

The fact that your grandmother’s thumb impression appears twice will not invalidate the registration of the Will. This is further supported by the fact that the sub-registrar’s office has not communicated any objection and anyway uploaded the image on their system. The fact of registration of the Will does not automatically lead to any inference in favour of its genuineness. The mere fact that a Will has been registered will not, by itself, be sufficient to dispel all suspicions regarding it. A registered Will can also be challenged in court. The validity of the Will is determined by a testamentary court when considering the grant of probate basis several other factors (i.e. whether the Will was executed under duress, whether the testator had the mental capacity to execute, etc.).

A gifted a flat to B via a registered gift deed. B gifted that flat to C via a similar deed. C has informed the society of his intention to sell the flat. Does the society need to take extra precautions, besides asking C for the filled-in forms for the purpose of giving effect to the transfer?

—Anil

We understand that both the gift transactions have taken place through registered gift deeds. The society office should obtain an undertaking-cum-indemnity bond from C that there are no conditions required to be fulfilled pursuant to these two registered gift deeds and C shall keep the society indemnified in case of any breach of the said undertaking. Apart from this and the compliance of usual transfer procedures of the society as per its bye-laws, no additional precaution would be required.