Pritam has executed a gift deed in favour of his son and his wife. In the gift deed, the first name is his son and the second name is his wife. The gift deed is unconditional. Moreover, the property in question is only a vacant plot of land.
Discuss whether after the death of Pritam’s wife whether Pritam’s daughter can claim her share in the property.
- It is understood that Pritam has transferred the property (the vacant plot of land) by a gift deed to both his son and his wife, and that his son is the first title holder and wife is the second title holder in the property.
- Accordingly, it is important to understand the nature of the ownership of the property, since this would also determine the succession of title.
- If Pritam’s son and wife hold the property as joint tenants, then on the demise of either of them, their share in the property would automatically devolve upon the other. However, if his son and his wife hold the property as tenants-in-common, on the demise of either of them, the share of the deceased tenant-in-common in the property, would devolve upon the legal heirs of such deceased tenant-in-common, in accordance with the rules relating to intestate succession.
- Again it is assumed that Pritam and his family are Hindus. Accordingly, if the property is held by his son and wife as tenants-in-common, upon the death of either of them, their share would pass on to Class I heirs of such person.
- However, if the property is held by them as tenants-in-common, they may each execute a Will in favour of any person during their lifetime and exclude their legal heirs.
- Accordingly, if Pritam’s wife executes a Will stating that her share in the property would be bequeathed exclusively to her son, then upon her demise, the entire property would become part of Pritam’s son’s estate.
- The legal heirs of Pritam’s wife (including his daughter) will have no claim over such property.
It is recommended that this will be prepared at the earliest, if not already done.