My father died recently. He had made a will for immovable property (land admeasuring 10 cents) held by him to be divided equally between my brother and me. This land is part of a property admeasuring 30 cents that had been left to him and two brothers equally (10 cents each) by his father. The property has not been transferred to my father’s and his brothers’ names as yet, but the taxes are being paid by them. If my brother and I want to sell the land, will we need to transfer it in our names?
A cent is a measure of land and is approximately one-hundredth of an acre or 435 sq. ft. To sell the property (10 cents) that has been bequeathed to you and your brother, you would be first required to have the same transferred jointly to yours and your brother’s names as the land records still show your grandfather as the owner of the entire property (30 cents). Therefore, the entire property (30 cents) would have to be transferred in the name of your father’s two brothers and you and your brother (as the legal heirs of your father), which will be done by mutation in land records in the offices of the concerned sub-registrar of assurances. Once, the said property (10 cents) has been transferred in the names of you and your brother, both of you shall be legally entitled to sell the property (10 cents).
However, if the property is undivided, you and your brother will be selling your undivided interest in the land admeasuring 30 cents. If a purchaser is unwilling to purchase such undivided interest, you and your brother will have to make an application to the concerned land revenue authorities to have the property demarcated into three separate plots of 10 cents each. It is only after approval is received from the authorities and entries in this respect have been made in the land records, will you and your brother be able to sell your land (10 cents) as a separate plot.
My uncle had nominated me as the executor in his will. One of the bequests he made was that a certain sum of money be invested in fixed deposits (FDs) and the interest earned paid equally to his two daughters during their lifetime. Upon their demise, the entire FD amount was to be paid to his daughters’ children. Both his daughters have passed away; neither of them had any children. To whom does this money now belong to?
As per the Indian Succession Act, 1925, if a testator bequeaths a fund for a certain purpose and the purpose or a part thereof can’t be fulfilled, then the fund or such part of it that has not been utilized remains a part of the testator’s property. In this case, the money that was invested in FDs and the interest accrued after your cousins passed away will belong to your uncle’s estate and will be distributed among his surviving heirs as per the laws of succession applicable to him.
Shabnum Kajiji is partner, Wadia Ghandy & Co. Advocates, Solicitors and Notaries
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