Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Daughters are also coparceners in HUF

By virtue of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act 2005, daughters are also coparceners in their own right in the same manner as sons

My father had an HUF, and after his demise, I became its karta, with my mother as the only surviving member. I am single and will remain unmarried. I have an elder sister, who is married and well settled. There are some investments under this HUF in the form of properties and bank deposits. The HUF is a tax-paying assessee. Can any moveable or immoveable assets be purchased in my (or my mother’s) individual name through the HUF money? Will the HUF continue if my mother passes away since she is the sole member in the HUF apart from me?

—Name withheld on request

Moveable or immoveable assets purchased by you from and out of the HUF funds would belong to the HUF and can be purchased by you as the karta for and on behalf of the HUF.

Note that prior to the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act 2005, only male members descended from a common ancestor such as sons, grandsons and great grandsons could be coparceners and had an interest by birth in coparcenary property. However, now, by virtue of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act 2005, daughters are also coparceners in their own right in the same manner as sons. However, for a daughter to be considered to be a coparcener, both she and her father should have been alive as of 9 September 2005 (as per the Supreme Court in the Prakash & Ors. vs Phulavati & Ors. case).

Accordingly, if your sister and your father were both alive on 9 September 2005, then your sister would also be a coparcener in your HUF and even if your mother is no more the HUF would continue.

If, however, your father passed away prior to 9 September 2005, then in the event of your mother’s death, you will be the sole coparcener of the HUF.

The properties will continue to be HUF properties but you will be entitled to dispose of the coparcenary property as if it were your separate property as long as you remain a sole surviving coparcener and you may sell or mortgage the coparcenary property or even make a gift of the coparcenary property, at your discretion (see AIR 2013 SC 3525).

I am the first joint owner of shares in a listed company with my mother. How can I get them transmitted to myself without the death certificate of my mother?

—V.K. Nair

The Articles of Association of the company concerned will contain the procedure to be followed by shareholders for recording transmission of shares from the names of joint owners to the name of the surviving joint holder(s) (upon the death of any of the joint holders) and this procedure would need to be followed by you.

In any event, in order that the company can transmit the shares standing in the joint names of your mother and you (where you are the first holder of the shares) to your sole name, the company would require some proof of your mother’s death. This would usually be in the form of the death certificate issued by the concerned statutory authority. If your mother died in India, then you should approach the concerned local authority or registrar, who maintains the Register of Deaths, for the death certificate. If you are not able to obtain this, you would have to approach the company to confirm to you what they would require as proof of death of the joint holder and what other protections it would require from you, in order to transmit the shares into your sole name.

For full answers, go to www.livemint.com/askmintmoney

Marylou Bilawala is partner, Wadia Ghandy & Co. Advocates, Solicitors and Notaries.

Queries and views at mintmoney@livemint.com

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