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A family arrangement agreement is advisable

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There is an ancestral property (residential flat in a housing society) in the name of my grandfather, who is deceased. His wife (my grandmother), son (my father) and elder daughter (my elder aunt) are also dead. My uncle, my younger aunt and my mother are the successors of this property. We have mutually and amicably decided in the family that the said property will be transferred in my name. My younger aunt has decided not to take any share. My mother and I and my uncle are the two parties left. Between us, we have mutually agreed that I would pay 50% of the property cost to my uncle when it is transferred to my name. Please guide me regarding the procedure that needs to be followed so that the transfer takes place in the shortest time possible. How can I save unnecessary costs (if legally possible) as the matter is undisputed?

—Name withheld on request

It is clarified that under the concept of “ancestral property” as applicable to Hindus, whenever an ancestor inherits any property from any of his paternal ancestors up to three generations above him, then his legal heirs up to three generations below him would get an equal right as coparceners in that property.

Based on the facts provided, it is assumed that your family is governed by Hindu personal laws, and all the deceased family members have passed away intestate i.e. without any wills and there are no family disputes among the three generations and their individual families. Based on the limited facts, we understand that your grandfather had four children: your father, (deceased son), your elder aunt (deceased elder daughter), your uncle (alive) and younger aunt (alive).

At present, your uncle, your younger aunt and your mother are the surviving legal heirs of your grandfather and that you inherit the rights to the property through your father.

However, since it is an ancestral property and assuming that there has been no family partition among your father, uncle and aunts, all of them along with their respective spouses and children (your cousins) have a share in the flat. Hence, it is advisable to have a family arrangement agreement in respect of the flat wherein all surviving family members consent to the flat being transferred in your favour and your uncle receiving 50% of the property cost.

Aradhana Bhansali is partner, Rajani Associates. Queries and views at [email protected]

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