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I was brought up by my aunt (the sister of my father). She was a Government employee who had availed loan from her department to construct a house. The loan is repaid in full from her salary. Out of her love and affection; she has bequeathed her house to me by will, which is registered. She has two sons who have abandoned her and I am looking after her. My husband wants to add another floor to the said house for which my aunt has orally consented. Please advise; whether her sons can claim their shares in the house which is bequeathed to me? Whether my husband can add another floor to the existing house?           

- by Padmavathy, Bangalore

If the will made by your aunt is out of her free will, without undue influence and in a good frame of mind, the will is legally valid. Further the house, which is bequeathed to you, is self earned property of your aunt, who is at liberty to deal with the property as she likes. Her legal heirs, including her sons, cannot claim any share in the said property. 
But a word of caution is necessary. The will be operative only after the death of your aunt and she may rewrite, change the will any time during her life time. So it would be advisable to postpone the addition of another floor, until the property is legally transferred to you. Alternatively your aunt may gift the house to you, retaining the right of residence until her death and you may permit your husband to add another floor. But your husband will not be entitled to any tax benefits since the land, property stands in your name. Better if you gift the undivided share of the land to your husband so that he can construct another floor and avail of tax benefits.

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These are all the legal questions answered by Advocate S.Selvakumar in various magazines, in various occasion including realestate reporter monthly.

QUESTIONS

Q:- My father had inherited some ancestral properties from his father. I am the only son of my father. My father has sold the ancestral property when I was minor. The sale proceeds were utilized by my father for his trip to U.S.A. The said sale was done when I was five years old. I have completed 18 years of age on 6/12/2002 and want to assert my claim over the ancestral property. But I was told that I cannot move the court as the limitation of twelve years is over. Please advise, what is the remedy?

Q:- I own a house which is self acquired property purchased out of my earnings. I have two children, a son and daughter. My son is married and is living separately. My daughter is unmarried and is living with me in my house and is taking care of me. I am aged and want that my daughter should get my house but want that the house should be in my possession as long as I am alive. Please advise how to proceed.

Q:- In your August issue, you answered the query of Smt. Kausalya Devi about the devolution of property inherited by a female through her father. I am in similar situation but the property inherited by me is that of my father-in-law. I do not have any children and my husband also expired an year ago. Please advise how my property is devolved?

Q:- Sir, I am a Hindu widow and do not have any children. I have inherited property from my father.  Please inform who will succeed to my inherited property.

Q:- I am a Hindu and have acquired certain immovable properties out of my own income. I do not have any issues. My husband died recently and my parents also expired long back. Please inform who will succeed my acquired property if I do not make a will.