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Home >Money >Personal Finance >If one of joint tenants dies, his interest will go to other owner

My mother, my former wife and I own a property jointly. The property has a loan against it which is in the names of all three of us. However, the loan was sanctioned on the basis of my salary documents as my mother and my former wife were unemployed. After divorce, my former wife wants to get her name removed from the loan account. For this purpose, the bank needs a gift or release deed. My former wife intends to give up her share in the property without any consideration. What shall be more viable—a release or gift deed? We were told that a gift deed will not be possible, and it will have to be a release deed. Also is stamp duty to be paid for both gift and release deeds?

—Alok Pandit

On the basis of the details provided, the first step is to verify if the subject property is included in the list of properties under the decree granted by the competent court for dissolution of your marriage with your former wife. If the manner in which the property will stand distributed is mentioned in the final decree of the court, the same will have to be followed. In the event, the decree does not deal with the subject property, your former wife may opt to release or gift the property in your favour.

However, in both cases, the property would not be registered under the nominal stamp duty value which is generally applicable to a husband and wife and, therefore, the stamp duty would become leviable depending upon the state where the property is located. Your former wife may either execute and register a release deed or gift deed by paying full stamp duty.

My brother and I are planning to buy a unit in a shopping complex in the National Capital Region. Initially, we plan to run the shop ourselves, but eventually we might look to either sell it or lease it out. Should we buy the shop as joint tenants or tenants-in-common?

– Seema

The terms tenants-in-common and joint tenants are used for determining the type of ownership of the holder of the property. Under tenants-in-common, upon death of one of the owners, the interest in the property will devolve according to the will of the deceased or as per the applicable succession laws of the deceased. Whereas, under joint tenants, the interest of a deceased owner is transferred to the remaining surviving owners.

In the instant case, you may opt for tenants-in-common, where you and your brother can own and hold the shop in equal proportion and the same will devolve upon your respective families or heirs in the event of the demise of one of the co-owners.

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

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