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Ask Mint Money | No specified format to write a will, no stamp duty payable

Ask Mint Money | No specified format to write a will, no stamp duty payable
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First Published: Mon, Jan 24 2011. 10 45 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Jan 24 2011. 10 45 PM IST
Is there a specified legal form in which a will must be made?
—Priyanka Das
There is no specified format in which a will is to be made. It could be drawn up on a plain sheet of paper and handwritten by the testator. As per section 74 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, no technical terms need be used. However, the intentions of the testator, including the property to be bequeathed and the beneficiaries, must be clearly set out in the will.
The will must be signed by the testator or his mark affixed thereto or signed by a person as directed by the testator and in the presence of the testator, all in the presence of at least two witnesses, each of whom must also sign the will. No stamp duty is payable on a will.
My husband and I are living in a rental house (pagdi system), which is in the name of my father-in-law. He died two years back. Now we have got a letter of administration from the Bombay high court wherein his wife and three children, including my husband, become the legal heirs of the property. My two sisters-in-law state that they do not want a part in the property. How can the property be transferred in my husband’s name so that no dispute arises later?
—Shaila
In the case of a tenancy (pagdi system), as per the provisions of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999 (MRCA), when a tenant dies, the family member who resides with the tenant at the time of his death is deemed the tenant (if the property is used for residential purposes).
The letter of administration will establish your husband’s right as the legal heir, as per MRCA. But the person residing with your father-in-law in his house at the time of his death will be considered a tenant.
Your two sisters-in-law can execute a release deed in favour of your husband and his mother, whereby they relinquish their tenancy rights in respect of the property out of their own free will and consent and state that neither of them, nor anyone claiming through them, will have any rights in the property. The release deed should also state that when your mother-in-law dies, neither of your sisters-in-law nor anyone claiming through them will have any objection to your husband being treated as the sole tenant of the property. It would also be advisable to make the landlord a party to the release deed.
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First Published: Mon, Jan 24 2011. 10 45 PM IST