My father had purchased residential land in my name when I was a child and nominated my mother as the guardian. However, my legal name was changed later and now I have no proof pertaining to my childhood name as registered in the property deed.
My father died and I have since attained the age of majority and wish to sell the property. How do I prove that I am the rightful owner of the property? What will be my mother’s share in this property? Can my brother and sister claim a share in it as well? My mother says the property was purchased for family use.
— Name withheld on request
Primarily, we assume that the change in your name has not been published in the gazette brought out by the government. Hence the issue of change of name may be addressed by making a declaration cum-affidavit by payment of non-judicial stamp duty, as applicable in your area of residence, which is sworn before the competent authority.
Simultaneously, a notice in a local newspaper of wide publication may be given that both names belong to one and the same person.
The purchase of the property by your father in your name under the guardianship of your mother is valid and legal. However, the law provides that after becoming a major, you may exercise the right of repudiation of this transaction. Once you have become a major, your mother has ceased to remain your guardian and you become the absolute owner .
Even if the property was purchased and put for family use and even if the property was purchased in your former name, you still are the legal owner of the property.
Further, owing to the fact that you are the lawful owner of the property, neither your mother nor your siblings have any rights in the property and there can be no valid claims that may arise from them as legal heirs of your father on his death.
Any legal proceedings initiated against you in respect of the property may have to be defended by you after substantiating the fact that the name of the minor in the property documents and your registered name is of the same person.
Aradhana Bhansali is partner, Rajani Associates.
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