property right: My grandfather died due to covid. Does my mother have right to covid aid received?

Raj Lakhotia, Founder, Dilsewill answers readers queries related to estate planning.

My mother’s father and her married brother died due to Covid. Now, only the daughterin-law survives, and she has received more than Rs 40 lakh from different Covid aids as my grandfather was a doctor. Do my mother and her sisters have any right to this money? My grandfather had not written a will, and had two houses and various bank accounts. These have been taken over by the daughter-in-law. What can we do? — Nivya Talokar

Assuming that you are Hindus, your mother and her siblings, being Class I legal heirs, are entitled to an equal share in all the moveable and immoveable properties of their deceased father. Your mother can file a petition for succession certificate in the jurisdictional court. The proceedings for distribution of assets of your grandfather will be initiated as intestate succession as per the Hindu Succession Act. Accordingly, your mother and her siblings will get an equal share in all the properties.

Does a daughter have the same legal stake as a son in a joint family business and the wealth generated by it? — Anjum Samel

A business is a separate legal entity and if the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) is the owner or has ownership in the business, then the daughter who has an interest in the HUF, can claim a right in the business as well. If the wealth or property generated through the joint family business is kept in the HUF, then the daughter can claim a right in that as well.

How can a trust or will be planned jointly by a husband and wife for their self-acquired property, when their only offspring is a ‘special needs child’? — Akhil Aggarwal

Making a beneficiary trust would be the ideal solution, wherein the property would be transferred to the trust and it would take care of the needs of the special needs child. The trust can be formed immediately or after the death of both the parents through a will. One can define the rules relating to the operation and uses of the trust and the property. Both the biological parents can also execute a mirror will by giving all the properties to the spouse as a sole beneficiary and mentioning the special child as a contingent beneficiary. In this case also, one has to appoint a legal guardian, who will act as a caretaker of the child. The legal guardian will be empowered by the will(s) when both the biological parents are not there.

Disclaimer: The responses are based on limited facts provided by the queries. It is advisable to consult a legal practitioner after presenting full facts and documents. Responses should not be considered as legal advice in any manner whatsoever.

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