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Home >Money >Q&a >Understand entitlement of property’s present owner before buying

I am buying a built-up property, which has changed ownership twice in the past. What all documents should I insist on to ensure no legal problems arise in future?

—Gautam

You may ask the owner or seller to provide you with all the title documents of the property to understand the title devolution and the entitlement of the seller. To ensure that the property is free of encumbrances, you may also check for the mutation entries, revenue records and search for it in the office of the concerned sub-registrar, where the property is situated. You may also publish a public notice before executing the purchase document to ensure there are no third party rights on the property.

My mother has inherited agricultural land along with her brother and sister. I am her only son. My maternal uncle and aunt want to transfer their shares to me through a gift deed. Is that possible? Are their other ways to do this?

—Meena

We assume that the agricultural land is owned by your mother and your maternal uncle and aunt. Your maternal uncle and aunt, if they want to transfer their respective undivided shares in the agricultural land in your favour, they can do so by duly executing and registering the gift deed.

Transfer by way of a gift deed may be the most appropriate way in your case, but there are other modes too. One way is that your uncle and aunt execute a release deed, whereby they can release and relinquish their shares in favour of your mother and, thereafter, your mother can transfer the same in your favour by way of a will or a gift deed.

My father died without a will. He has an ancestral property in his sole name. I have two sons and a daughter, while my brother has two daughters. How will the property be divided?

—T. Pant

In view of the limited information available, the subject property, though an ancestral one, when held by your father in his individual name becomes his absolute property, which he inherited from his father or grandfather and loses the character of the ancestral property. As your father died intestate or without leaving behind a will, the property will devolve upon his Class I heirs, being his wife (if your mother is still alive) and children equally, as per the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.

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

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