As an only daughter, can I stake a claim to my father’s ancestral property?

Q.My father has some ancestral property, which he says he will pass on only to my two older brothers. As an only daughter, can I stake a claim to this property? — V.N. Khosla.

If the ancestral property has been split among legal heirs and your father has received his share, it will be considered his absolute property and he can will it to whomsoever he wishes. If, however, he has not received his share of property legally, he does not have the right to pass it on and it will be split among all the legal heirs. You, by virtue of your birth, have a right to ancestral property and can stake a claim to it.

Q.I have two properties which are self-acquired. I want to leave both of these houses to my two grandchildren. Can I do this without any objections or disputes by my children later on?— S.S

If the two properties in question have been self-acquired, bought and constructed with your own money, and you are the sole owner, you can will these to anyone you want, including your grandchildren. Have a will drafted with the help of a lawyer and clearly mention the names of the beneficiaries. As a precautionary measure, mention the reason you are not listing your Class I legal heirs as beneficiaries in the will in order to minimise the chances of conflict or of the will being contested later on.

Q.I have been married for two years and live with my in-laws in their house. My husband and I don’t get along well and am subjected to severe emotional and verbal abuse by my in-laws on a daily basis. Now, my father-in-law is threatening to throw me out of the house so that I and my husband can be separated. Can he legally do so?— Vinati S.

According to a 2020 Supreme Court ruling, under the Domestic Violence Act 2005, an estranged married woman has a right to residence in a shared household in which she has lived with her husband, even if the house does not belong to her husband and is owned by the in-laws, or even if it is a rented accommodation. She cannot be thrown out of the house even if she has no legal claim or title to the property. Hence, your father-in-law has no legal right to throw you out of the house if you want to continue to stay even if the property does not belong to you or your husband.

Q.My husband wants me to take a personal loan for his business as I have a better credit score and he says he will return the money. Should I take the loan or ask him to make other arrangements? — Kavita K.

Even if you are on good terms with your husband and trust him, it may not be a good idea to take a loan for him. If, for some reason, your relationship breaks down after a few years, you will be left with the liability and he may refuse to repay the money. So it is advisable for him to seek a different option.

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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