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LEGAL FAQS

Q: My wifeís grandfather was gifted a landed property on which he had constructed a two-storey building. According to the gift deed, he was barred from any kind of transaction of the property and after his death it would pass on to his two sons who would be allowed to carry out transactions. The daughter was given nothing. The property was subsequently divided equally between the sons. One son, my father-in-law, purchased a large part of his brotherís share. The brother was unmarried and died intestate in October, 2013. My wife has a brother. Can the sons and daughters of the aunt who was excluded from the gift deed claim shares? If yes, how will the property be divided?

Surajit Mandal, Calcutta

A: It may be presumed that the gift deed was a registered one and had been accepted by your wifeís grandfather. Being one of the legal heirs of her bachelor brother, your wifeís aunt would be entitled to half of the unsold portion. Her heirs will inherit that portion but only after her demise. The value of the share of the property can be handed over to your wifeís aunt. If she does not agree to that, the unsold portion can be partitioned between your father-in-law and your aunt by executing a partition deed.

Q: My father and three uncles have some plots of land that have not yet been legally partitioned or distributed amongst my cousins and me. I want my share of land now. In spite of repeated requests, the eldest cousin is not willing to execute a partition. How can I get my share?

Amit Kumar Tiwary, via email

A: Since you are governed by the Mitakshara School of Law, you and the willing co-owners may file a civil suit of partition against all the unwilling co-owners. However, first and foremost, you have to send a notice of your intention ó to have the property partitioned ó to all the co-owners.

Q: Before his death, my father made a will on a piece of white paper. It was signed by an advocate, two close relatives (as witnesses) and our father. Is such a will valid in the eyes of law?

S.K. Pal, via email

A: A will need not necessarily be on stamp paper. The main criteria are the contents, the signature of the testator and, most important, the signature of the attesting witnesses. Hence your fatherís will seems to be valid.