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 19th February, 2022 and the online edition of the same can be found here.
We are two brothers and one sister, and we follow Hinduism. In 1970, my father built a house on a plot which was in my mother’s name, although it was bought with my father’s money. My father expired in 1990. In 2012, my brother and I demolished the house and built a new house with our own money. After construction, my mother gifted the house to both of us equally. We requested our sister to take one floor, but she denied verbally as she is well off. In the future, can my sister or her children legally ask for a share in the house?
We have assumed that the property in question is a solely owned, self-acquired property. Given that your mother has gifted the title of the house equally between you and your brother during her lifetime, the title of the property vests jointly between you and your brother. Since your mother has completed the transfer in her lifetime, and the property does not flow under her Will / Intestate succession, your sister or her children cannot ask for a share in the property.
A key assumption here is that the property was transferred through a properly stamped, and registered gift deed, and that the mutation of title is fully completed. For completeness, it is worth re-checking the gift deed and title documents regarding the transfer to ensure that the title belongs only to both of you, and that neither your mother or anyone else has any interest or other rights on the property.