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My father had bequeathed some asset to non-family members? Can we challenge it?

In case of share in assets of a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) a coparcener is entitled to bequeath his share in the HUF to anyone buy not beyond his share in the asset of the HUF. (iStock)Premium
In case of share in assets of a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) a coparcener is entitled to bequeath his share in the HUF to anyone buy not beyond his share in the asset of the HUF. (iStock)

  • In case of share in assets of a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) a coparcener is entitled to bequeath his share in the HUF to anyone but not beyond his share in the asset of the HUF.

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We are a Hindu Family. My father had bequeathed some of the asset to non-family members? Can we challenge it? 

Under the provisions of Section 30 of Hindu Succession Act, 1956 read with Indian Succession Act, 1925 a Hindu is entitled to bequeath his self-acquired property the way wishes. So he was entitled to bequeath his self-acquired assets to anyone including an outsider to the exclusion of his legal heirs. So in case the will is validly made the bequeath cannot be challenged only on the ground that some of the asset have been bequeathed to non-family members. 

In case of share in assets of a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) a coparcener is entitled to bequeath his share in the HUF to anyone but not beyond his share in the asset of the HUF. So here also you cannot challenge the bequeath if it is restricted to his share in the HUF.

However, if the you feel that the will was made under coercion or fraud or under circumstance which indicate that your father made the Will which indicate that he was not in a position to take rational decision about the bequeath. Additionally, you can challenge the same if the will is not validly executed meaning that either it has not been signed by your father or the same has not been witnessed by at least two witness who have obtained confirmation from your father that he had in fact signed the will.

Balwant Jain is a tax and investment expert and can be reached on jainabalwant@ gmail.com and @jainbalwant on Twitter

 

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