Mrs. Rao was gifted a house by her parents and it is mutated in her name in the revenue records. She has five sons. The house has two portions and she decided to give each portion to two of her sons who performed the obsequies of her parents and to give some cash and jewelry to her other three sons. How should she plan to distribute her property and what are the legal options available to her?
At the outset, the house being gifted to her is deemed to be her self acquired property, so she is the absolute owner and can give it to anyone and in any manner she likes. She can either
- a) execute a will clearly indicating her intention of bequeathing the house to her two sons and cash or any other money to her other three sons and register it, which will take effect only after her demise, or
- b) execute a family settlement deed with the consent of all concerned reaching a satisfactory agreement by talking and exploring options with the help of a family well-wisher/mediator or
- c) execute two gift deeds- one, transferring the house to the two sons and another gift deed giving away money/cash to the other three sons get it registered as per Sec. 123 of the Transfer of property Act. The gift deeds will be valid if and only if the donees sign accepting the said gift.
So a well drafted estate plan avoids sibling rivalry and family feud by
- weighing the emotions and family dynamics
- balancing the legal rights and obligations,
- communicating with their adult children about post-mortem planning with convincing arguments for treating children differently