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Aaron Smothers (Self)     20 September 2011

Joint family property questions


this scenario pertains to a Hindu family.



The elder father and mother both come from modest-to-poor backgrounds, with no inheritance from either side

father's income can barely make ends meet, let alone leave savings to acquire property

mother has never worked for wages

They have a son and 2 daughters. One daughter gets married very young and leaves the house (to live in a different city altogether), the other daughter is unmarried for quite long, has a modest income (none enough to buy assets) and lives in the house.

The son gets a college degree, starts working when he is barely 20, for about 5 years in India, and then goes abroad to work. He works there for 2 decades. Several years after he starts working abroad, through his remittances, a flat is bought in India, but the mother is named as the titleholder. (It is sold some years later, as mentioned below).

Question #1 : Is this flat legally admissible as a joint family property?

Some years later, the son, after more years of overseas work and greater savings,  comes to India, and buys a plot of land and builds a house. The house is bought with his additional savings, pooled with the proceeds of liquidating the earlier flat mentioned above. This time, he gets the title established in his name, not in his mother's name.

Question #2:  Can this house be claimed by the daughters and mother and father as a joint family property?

Background for question #3:

Around the time he buys the (second) house, he gets married. The couple mostly live abroad and visit India only for holidays. When they visit India one time, the son is hit with a terminal illness and dies after about a year.

He writes no will, and they have no childern. Mother and wife are alive, and are class 1 heirs according to Hindu law of intestate succession.

Question# 3: Is there a credible case for the daughters to posture the house as a joint family property and thereby dilute any share for the widow?

Much appreciate your insights!








QUestion #2:





 2 Replies

Sambhunath Tiadi (Advocate & CEO of LJMMF)     22 September 2011

Ans.Q.1: No the flat is not legally admissible as a joint family property,because the existing mother has purchased it by execution of sale deed. She is the absolute owner of her property. She can sell her property to any body as per her wish,as the property is not ancestral one.

 Ans.Q.2: No, The house,which is in the name of the son can not be claimed by mother,daughters and father of the son, as his wife is legal heir of the property after the death of his husband.

Ans.Q3. Now wife of the deceased son is the sole and whole authority of the house,and can not kick our her mother in law, as it is her bounden duty to look after her mother inlaw, if she is a earning lady. She can also sell the house as legal heir of the property. Daughters are no way related to the property.

If you feel any doubt, can ask me again, so that I will clarify you details. But keep it mind that, rules are nothing and only applicaton of common sense, which are framed by us. Daughters have claim on her mother's property(flat), but when the property has been sold, question of claim does not arise at all. She has purchased and sold it. It was not the ancentstr proerty of mother or daughters. However, the contents of the sale deed to also be verified for more information,if you need. Awating response with regards.

1 Like

Aaron Smothers (Self)     23 September 2011

Thank you Mr. Tiadi.  Regarding the wife/widow's rights, my impression was that the Hindu Law of (intestate) succession states that the mother and wife (if aliev) are both equal Class 1 inheritors (provided the couple don';t have any children). You seem to imply that the wife is fully entitled to the estate. I'll appreciate a reconciliation of this apparent inconsistency. Thanks!

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