A will and a family agreement possess legal validity as long as they meet the stipulated criteria for execution as per the law. In accordance with the Indian Succession Act, 1925, a will is explicitly defined in Section 2 (h) as the formal expression of a testator's intention, that is, the individual crafting the will, detailing the desired treatment of their property following their demise. The ability to bequeath property through a will is restricted to assets owned or over which the testator holds disposal authority at the time of their passing.
A family agreement or arrangement has not been defined statutorily under Indian laws. Halsbury's Laws of England defines it as an agreement among members of the same family, intended to be generally and reasonably for the benefit of the family, either by compromising doubtful or disputed rights or by preserving the family property or the peace and security of the family by avoiding litigation or by saving its honor.
As per Hon’ble Supreme Court KorukondaChalapathi Rao &Anr. Vs Korukonda Annapurna and Smapath Kumar, 2021 has held that a family settlement agreed orally but later on put on paper as aid memoir or for future reference then such agreement is not compulsorily required to be registered
If you and your family members have mutually agreed upon and signed a family settlement deed, it can serve as a legally binding document for the distribution of assets. This deed outlines the agreed-upon terms and can supersede the need for an individual will. However, it is essential to consult with a legal expert to ensure the deed covers all necessary aspects and aligns with legal requirements.We can guide you on the specific requirements and documentation needed in your state to ensure compliance with the law.