I expect to inherit a house from my mother. I would like to specify in my Will that the house should go to my son after me. Can I do so considering that the property would be inherited and is not self-bought? I also have a sister, who has two daughters.
I am assuming that you are a Hindu and that accordingly, the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 would apply to you.
As per Section 14 of the Act, any property possessed by a female Hindu shall be held by her as full owner thereof and not as a limited owner. The explanation to Section 14 further states that “property" includes both moveable and immoveable property acquired by a female Hindu by inheritance or devise or by way of a gift.
However, the terms of the Will or gift should not prescribe a restricted estate in such property.
Thus, you would be able to bequeath the house inherited by you from your mother to your son, provided that your interest therein is not restricted to a life interest and it is bequeathed to you absolutely.
In the event that both you and your sister (or any other person named by your mother in her Will) inherit a share in the house jointly as co-owners, then you can bequeath the share inherited by you in the house from your mother, to your son.
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Marylou Bilawala is partner, Wadia Ghandy & Co. Advocates, Solicitors and Notaries. Queries and views at firstname.lastname@example.org