Lawfarm Team
Asked December 19, 2015

PREVENT SON FROM INHERITING PROPERTY

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How can I prevent my son from inheriting my property. Can i exclude him from my property. He hasn't been a responsible son and I don't think he deserves any property that I own.

 

Answer 1

Answer

There are two kinds of property which could have been inherited you like any other person:- self acquired property and ancestral property. Generally the rule is, ancestral property cannot be willed out according to one’s desire. But separate property can be disposed of as desired.

Any property which is purchased by a person in his name through his own resources is considered self acquired property. Ancestral property has till 2005 meant property inherited upto four generation of male lineage. In other words: “ancestral property is that if the person inheriting it has sons, grandsons or great-grandsons, they become joint owner's coparceners with him. They become entitled to it due to their birth”[1]. This however substantively changed since 2005. In 2005 an amendment was brought about in the Hindu Succession Act, adding S. 6A to the statute, which gave daughters equal rights as coparceners along with their brothers. What is interesting is that we haven’t really had case laws over the last 10 years to understand how this substantive right has changed the position regarding property inherited from maternal grandparents. Till before 2005 property acquired from maternal grand-father was not considered ancestral according to Hindu coparcenary system[2]. All properties inherited from any other relations apart from “the four generation of male lineage” was considered to be separate property.

Therefore, if your property is an ancestral property then you don’t quite have a full proof legal remedy to stop your child from acquiring your property because a person acquires the right to inherit an ancestral property by birth itself. But the law states that the owner can do anything with a self acquired property and it is his decision whether to give away his property to his children or not. Only the spouse can usually lay claim in a self acquired property.

Apart from this the Supreme Court has also said that parents have every right to deny the share to their children who simply don’t care about their parents in old age. Were in this particular case two sons did not take care of their parents and the parents were forced to live with their third son. The two sons did not even pay money for their mother’s funeral procedures. Hence the SC said that in such case where the children are negligent in taking care of their parents then the parents can deny their family property to them.[i] If by any chance your children are not taking care of you in your old age then you can use this defense to even protect your ancestral property.

[1] U.R.Virupakshaiah vs Sarvamma & Anr, Supreme Court, 2008 available at http://indiankanoon.org/doc/1103123/

[2] Maktul vs Mst. Manbhari & Other, Supreme Court, 1958 as available at http://indiankanoon.org/doc/1520974/

[i] Mahesh Kumar v. Vinod Kumar & Ors, Supreme Court, 2012 as available at http://indiankanoon.org/doc/93264341/

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