I have a daughter and a legally adopted son. I want to give two properties to my daughter. Should I transfer them in her name or make a Will?
Hindu laws do not create any distinction between biological children born of a wedlock or a legally adopted child, treating both on equal footing.
A Will comes into effect upon the death of the testator, and has to be executed keeping in mind the requirements under law and signed by at least two witnesses in the presence of the testator. Though compulsory registration of a Will is not required under the Indian Registration Act, 1908, a probate may be required in certain cases under the Indian Succession Act, 1925.
A Will can be challenged by heirs/ legatees/ beneficiaries of the testator on any of the grounds on which a contract can be challenged. To avoid conflict of interest between your daughter and son, it is advisable to transfer, by way of gift, the two properties during your lifetime to your daughter.
Aradhana Bhansali is partner, Rajani Associates. Queries at firstname.lastname@example.org