A daughter has an equal right to that of a son on ancestral property
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The Private Client team at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas shares their comments and opinions shared in an article in the  following Q&A which was published by the Mint Newspaper on 1st September, 2020 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

My husband has one brother and one sister. Due to some family issues between my mother-in-law and me, we are not in contact since 2013. In 2017, we came to know that my father-in-law has given all his retirement money to my brother-in-law to purchase a flat worth 24 lakh. My in-laws stayed in their ancestor property. Can we get a share in this ancestral property?

Primacy of family settlements upheld

Family settlements and ensuing documentation have been a subject matter of litigation for various reasons. One such litigious issue is whether the documents pertaining to family settlements are required to be registered under the Registration Act, 1908 (“Act”). If a document, which was otherwise required to be compulsorily registered, has not been registered, then as per Section 49 of the Act, such document would not affect any immovable property comprised therein, or confer any power to adopt, or be received as an admissible evidence of any transaction recorded in the document. The consequential issue that has evolved is whether the documents recording family arrangements are required to be registered. Recently, the Supreme Court (“SC”), in the case of Ravinder Kaur Grewal & Others. v. Manjit Kaur & Ors.,[1] has held that a memorandum of family settlement, which merely records the terms of a family settlement already acted upon by the concerned parties, is not required to be registered.
Continue Reading Primacy of Family Settlements Upheld

Class I heirs of a woman dying intestate are her husband and children
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The Private Client team at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas shares their comments and opinions shared in an article in the  following Q&A which was published by the Mint Newspaper on 18th August, 2020 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

My father-in-law had a flat. After his death, the house was transferred in my mother-in-law’s name. He didn’t leave any will. After my mother-in-law dies, will the house be divided and given to their three children or can she give it to any one of them?

Photo by Robert Eklund on Unsplash

The Private Client team at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas shares their comments and opinions shared in an article which was published by Moneycontrol.com on 12th August, 2020 and the same can be found here.

The Indian judiciary continues to take progressive steps towards making succession law more women friendly. In the landmark case of Vineeta Sharma v. Rakesh Sharma (Judgment), a 3 judge Bench of the Supreme Court (SC), on August 11th, 2020, held that daughters would have equal coparcenary rights same as that of a son in a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF). The SC clarified two points:

    • Coparcenary rights are acquired by a daughter at birth; and


Continue Reading What is the impact, do wives benefit and other questions about SC ruling giving daughters equal rights over their father’s property answered

Wife can manage late husband’s HUF if all coparceners are minors
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The Private Client team at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas shares their comments and opinions shared in an article in the  following Q&A which was published by the Mint Newspaper on 22nd July, 2020 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

My late husband had mutual fund investments under Hindu Undivided Family (HUF). I have a son and daughter, who are minors. While some mutual funds have agreed that I can be the karta and are willing to let me liquidate investments, but two are saying I can’t be a karta. Can you explain?

—Swati Kesarkar


Continue Reading Wife can manage late husband’s HUF if all coparceners are minors

Women and Maintenance

Maintenance, as a concept, has its roots in the social justice system of a civilised society. The Supreme Court, explaining the rationale behind providing maintenance in the case of Badshah v. Urmila Badshah Godse and Anr[1], has held that the “provision of maintenance…aims at empowering the destitute and achieving social justice or equality and dignity of the individual. …The law regulates relationships between people. It reflects the values of society.” In India, the right to claim maintenance is statutorily available under both personal and general laws, and such a right cannot be taken away by way of an agreement to the contrary[2]. Maintenance can be awarded during the course of the proceedings (i.e. maintenance pendente lite) or at the conclusion thereof (i.e. permanent maintenance). The right to claim maintenance is available to wives, children and parents. Under certain personal laws, even husbands (who are unable to maintain themselves) are entitled to claim maintenance.  This article discusses the provisions under various personal and general laws that entitle a wife to claim maintenance.
Continue Reading Women and Maintenance

In India, the law and practice in relation to property and inheritance have traditionally been more patriarchal. Unfortunately, married daughters were quite often not regarded as the heir apparent to a family’s estate and business; and sons continue to be the ‘chosen ones’. Many business families remain reluctant to pass their business wealth and assets onto their married daughters due to the perceived risk that the property ends up being controlled by the in-laws of the daughters. This becomes even more pronounced for ‘promoter’ families with significant holdings in public listed companies. How can such Promoters pass on their business wealth to their daughters, and can they do so without losing control over the company?


Continue Reading SEBI clarifies status of married daughters becoming promoters in listed companies

 Legal Heirs Preferred Over Nominees - Court Decision

The issue of legatees vs. nominees still seems to be causing confusion in the minds of the public. Even after a number of clear judicial decisions on this topic, confirming that legal heirs are the correct persons to inherit assets (over that of a nominee), a new decision re-confirms this issue.

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, New Delhi (“NCLAT”), on November 14th, 2019 had held that nomination does not amount to beneficial ownership to an asset and the nominee holds the asset for and on behalf of the legal heirs of the deceased. The Bench of Justice S.J. Mukhopadhyaya and Justice A.I.S. Cheema, in the case of Oswal Greentech v Mr Pankaj Oswal and Ors[1] (“Oswal”) whilst listening to the question of maintainability of the petition under Section 241-242 of the Companies Act, 2013 (“Act”), decided on the said matter.
Continue Reading Court Re-Confirms That Legal Heirs Are Preferred Over Nominees

Wedding Succession Planning - Inheritance rights of Hindus

When one is about to get married, there are myriad thoughts crossing one’s mind all at once – from meticulous planning of the upcoming nuptials, to mundane but practical matters such as updating official documents, to creating social media hashtags. A wedding is after all a momentous occasion in a person’s life, and planning is key. It might be safe to say, however, that the thought of how marriage will impact one’s inheritance rights and succession planning in anticipation are usually not top of the list.

In this blog, we discuss this important but rarely discussed topic – the effect of marriage on inheritance rights and planning in anticipation of marriage. As this is a vast topic and issues vary depending on the facts of each case, we have discussed some of the key issues and limited the discussion in this post to Hindus.
Continue Reading Wedding (Succession) Planning: Analysing Impact of Marriage on Inheritance Rights of Hindus