A Hindu male Mr. Rao died intestate (without a legal Will) in the year 2007, leaving certain properties, survived by his widow, one son and three daughters as the legal heirs and successors to the properties. Some properties are in the name of the widow and she has been managing all the entire properties as their son has been living abroad for the last 20 years. The mother gifted away her properties to the daughters in 2006. Disputes arose with regard to sharing of the properties. While the son managed to get his name mutated in the revenue records as the pattadar of the properties, the daughters filed a suit for partition claiming their entitlement in the properties as per The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005.
Let us look at the two scenarios-
Scenario-1. The law takes its own course for a logical conclusion in the partition suit, leaving feelings of disappointment, anger, animosity, and bitterness among the siblings.
Scenario-2. They could amicably settle their inter se (“among themselves”) rights in relation to the property to avoid disputes and executed a family settlement agreement or partition deed wherein the shares of the legal heirs could have been defined and get the same registered and mutated in their respective shares.
Solution: In this case, the family settled inter se after mediation by elders in the family.
How could Mr. Rao avoided this situation: It is advisable to have a PROPER VALID WILL in place to ensure hassle free Succession Planning for smooth distribution of his/her hard earned wealth to the legal heirs
BECAUSE THE VALIDITY OF THE WILL COULD BE CHALLENGED ON THE GROUNDS OF
- Improper execution
- Lack of testamentary
- Lack of testamentary capacity
- Suspicious circumstances surrounding the Will- eg. Undue influence,fraud or forgery
(We will look into the typical cases where improper WILLS have triggered family feuds)