Q: My uncle, a bachelor, had two brothers and a sister. When he died, only the brothers were alive. They have sons and daughters. Who will inherit my uncle’s property as per the Hindu Succession Act? Are his sister’s children eligible to shares? My grandparents had died long before my uncle.
S. Chaudhuri, Calcutta
A: Section 8 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, deals with the general rules of succession in the case of men. As your uncle was a bachelor and does not have Class I heirs, his property will devolve upon the Class II heirs mentioned in the schedule of the act. So, if the brothers are alive, they will inherit two-thirds of the property while the remaining one-third will go to the children of the sister. In case the brothers are not alive, the property will be distributed equally between all the nephews and nieces.
Q: I reside in a flat under the Calcutta Municipal Corporation jurisdiction. I have a garage space where I keep my car and a bike. They often get scratched or damaged. We do not have any security guard in our building. The other flat owners are not willing to pay for one. Can I erect a brick wall around my space to protect my vehicle? If not, what can I do to protect my vehicle and garage space?
T. Chatterjee, Calcutta
A: Building a wall around the open car parking space would amount to changing the nature and character of the premises and would be a deviation from the sanction plan of the building. The other flat owners may also object to this. Hence you could explore alternative methods like putting covers on your vehicles or opting for central locking.
Q: There are three beneficiaries of a will. One of them has objections to some of the clauses. Can the other two obtain probate without informing this person? Is there any last date for execution of a will after the demise of the testator?
Tanmoy De, via email
A: The court will not grant probate to the executor of a will without being satisfied that all the legal heirs have given their consent and that the will is genuine. The legal procedure involves summoning the heirs as well as the witnesses. It is also the duty of the executor to file an inventory of the assets being handed over to the beneficiaries once the probate is granted. So one beneficiary cannot be kept in the dark. There is no fixed time limit for applying for probate but the earlier the better.