I am a single unmarried woman and own a house in my name. The property was bought in 2004. In the absence of any legal heirs, in order to safeguard the property from my relatives, can I include a trustworthy friend as a co-owner?
—Name withheld on request
To safeguard your property from your relatives or any third party, while enjoying the benefits of the same during your lifetime, you can transfer a certain percentage, say, 25% undivided right, title and interest in the property in favour of your friend by way of a gift or by any other mode of transfer. Simultaneously, you can also make your Will whereby you can bequeath the remaining 75% undivided right, title and interest in the property in favour of your friend who already owns a certain minimum percentage. This will safeguard your interest of protecting the property from your relatives.