A will can help in ensuring smooth transition of assets
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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 27th October, 2021 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

My question is regarding my share in a house built by my father. The said house was built in 1990 and registered in the name of my mother and my elder brother (I was a minor then). My father passed away in 2016 and all immovable assets were transferred in my mother’s name. My mother has always maintained that all her assets, movable and immovable, be shared equally between us brothers. She has not made any Will and I do not feel comfortable asking her to make one either. My question is that in the absence of any Will, what is my share in the said house? Since the house is registered jointly in the name of my brother and my mother, she legally owns half of the house. Will my share amount to half of her share, i.e 50% of 50% = 25% or will it be her complete share, i.e 50%?

—Name withheld on request


Continue Reading A will can help in ensuring smooth transition of assets

A Will is invalid in the absence of witnesses
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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 29th September, 2021 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

Do married daughters have rights over their father’s self-acquired property if the father passed away in 1999, which is before the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005? Also, the daughters in this case were married before 1986, after they received proper settlements with land plots and were told that they would have no share in the remaining property of the father, earmarked for the sons. The father also wrote a Will stating that all his acquired property will go to his wife and sons alone. But due to his illness, he could not get it signed by two witnesses. Also due to change of residence and his death, only a photocopy of this Will was found. Can this Will be used in any way?

—Name withheld on request


Continue Reading A Will is invalid in the absence of witnesses

The rights of a legal heir supersede the rights of a nominee
Source: Livemint.com

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 07th July, 2021 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

My father and mother passed away after they came down with covid. My father had made a registered Will in 2015. According to that document, my nephew has been named the claimant of all his liquid assets. However, after 2015, my father declared me as his nominee in almost all his bank accounts. Under these circumstances, who is the rightful claimant of my father’s liquid assets, my nephew or myself?

—Name withheld on request


Continue Reading The rights of a legal heir supersede the rights of a nominee

Property transfer will take place under HSA in case there's no will
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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 9th June, 2021 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

My father passed away in 2016. He left behind a house where I stay with my wife, mother and younger brother, who is unmarried. My mother is willing to transfer the house to my brother and I as a gift. So, these are my questions. First, what is the process for getting the ownership changed to my brother and I? Second, what are the fees to be paid to the government, if any? Third, how much taxes are we supposed to pay? Fourth, is there a time limit to transfer the ownership? Fifth, how much will it cost in lawyer fees?

—Name withheld on request


Continue Reading Property transfer will take place under HSA in case there’s no will

Inheritance in absence of will

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 31st March, 2021 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

I got married to a widower with an adopted girl, who is now 25 years old. The property is in the name of my husband, who’d told me that he had explained to the daughter that I would get the property after his death and then to her as she is the only child. The house we stay in is in his name, with the nominee being his daughter. He is not taking initiative to discuss or make both of us secure. Please advise the best course of action. She neither wants to get married nor take up a job.

— Name withheld on request


Continue Reading Inheritance in absence of will creates co-ownership rights over assets

Land inherited from biological or adopted mother is not considered ancestral property
As a daughter your right to claim a share in your father’s self-acquired property would arise if your father were to die intestate. Image Source: Livemint.com

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 7th October, 2020 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

We are two sisters and our father inherited a residential property from his mother through a will. He willed the whole property to my elder sister under pressure. Can my father give the property to one of the two legal heirs, leaving nothing for the other?

 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

 A Will differs from contracts and other executed documents in one important aspect. Unlike other documents, a Will only takes effect from the death of the person who has made it (called the testator). The testator’s testimony is not available to determine whether the Will is valid and whether it constitutes the testator’s true intentions. Thus, the validation and interpretation of a Will is rather unique for the significance of surrounding circumstances, and the identity and status of parties.

This being the case, it becomes advisable not only to prepare a Will that is clear and legally valid, but also to ensure that if a challenge to the Will is anticipated, suitable safeguards to fortify it have been put in place. In this post, we discuss the legal grounds on which a Will may be challenged, and some of the commonly adopted precautions that testators may put in place to help validate their Wills and to assist in giving effect to their desired intentions.

Grounds for Challenge

After the testator passes away, the Will may be challenged before a Court by any person who claims to have an interest in the testator’s estate. If the Court finds, based on the evidence placed before it, that the challenge is sustainable, it will declare the Will void and set it aside.


Continue Reading Fortify Your Will: Safeguards to Ensure that Your Will is Validated