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Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Siblings can execute release deed to give up rights on a property

A release deed has to be registered before the office of the sub-registrar of assurances concerned

My elder brother, elder sister and I jointly own an inherited flat in a cooperative society. My siblings are ready to give up their rights for 15,000 each. What will be the best way to release their shares and pay them the money so that they cannot stake claim?

—Anand

It is assumed that post the demise of your parents, the flat is owned by all three siblings in equal proportion and the share certificate issued by the society is in the name of all the siblings. Under such circumstances, your siblings may execute a release deed in your favour.

This release deed will have to be registered before the concerned office of the sub-registrar of assurances on payment of stamp duty. For having the share certificate issued by the society transferred in your name, you will need to submit a copy of the registered release deed to the cooperative housing society along with the original share certificate with a request to transfer the share certificate in your name.

Suppose two women buy a shop and both are considered joint owners of the property and one woman dies without making a Will. Who will get the 50% ownership of the deceased? Is there a way (an agreement or deed or owning the shop through a company) both partners can make the other person the owner of their shares if either of them dies? Also, what’s the meaning of “tenants in common"?

—Name withheld on request

To answer your first query, it is imperative to look at the purchase document, which will define the type of ownership that each owner holds and their respective rights and interests in the shop. That is to say, to verify if the shop is owned on a joint ownership basis or as tenants in common. In the former case, the deceased’s share in the shop shall be transferred in favour of the survivor. In the latter, tenants in common, the deceased’s share will devolve according to the succession or personal laws applicable to the deceased at the time of her demise, if she dies intestate or as per her Will, if she dies leaving behind a Will.

Now for your second query. One way may be to hold the shop on a joint ownership basis or survivorship basis. For this, the purchase document can be prepared on such footing where it is made clear that the ownership of the shop is on a joint ownership or survivorship basis.

In tenants in common type of ownership, if one owner dies, his or her interest goes to the beneficiaries as per the Will or to the legal heirs as per the applicable succession laws and not necessarily to the other co-owner or survivor.

My brother and I sold our ancestral property in 1982. He used the amount to buy a flat in the same year. About a year back, he carried out modifications and added a room, financed by his son. How will the ownership of the flat be classified now? Is it an ancestral, self-earned or coparcener property?

—Name withheld on request

It is unclear if the flat purchased by your brother is in his absolute name or in the joint names of your brother and you.

Assuming that the flat is in the absolute name of your brother, then the flat is his absolute property. However, if the same is in your name along with your brother and the purchase deed clearly states the extent of interest that each of you holds in the flat, then to that extent, you will be entitled to a share in the flat. If the purchase deed is not clear on the share of each holder, then your brother and you will be the co-owners of the flat having equal shares.

Note that on sale of the ancestral property, the utilization of the sale proceeds received for purchase of another property, in this case the flat, does not make the flat an ancestral property and the character of the ancestral property is lost. Further, it cannot be considered as a coparcener property, as it is not a property purchased for a Hindu Undivided Family.

Aradhana Bhansali is partner, Rajani Associates. Queries and views at mintmoney@livemint.com

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