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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:- We are three brothers and two sisters. My elder sister was married on 3.8.1989, and has one son.  Another sister was married on 5.11.1995, and has no issues. We three brothers are living together as joint family in an ancestral house and have inherited ancestral property of our grandfather. Our parents have expired. Now my sisters are demanding shares in ancestral property including the house and have threatened to file a partition suit.  As we would like to settle the issue amicably, please advise us.

Q:- I have read that “in the absence of any family member not residing with the tenant all the heirs will be entitled to the tenancy right”. “ I have two married daughters residing in Navi Mumbai and I am at the Central suburb, how can I ensure that the tenancy rights of my daughters will be safeguarded and after my death the tenancy can be transferred in their names according to my will ?

Q:- If the property owner dies, what is the procedure to be followed for transferring the property to his legal heirs.

Q:- I am an Orphan and brought up by my distant relative. Out of natural lone and affection, my distant relative wants to give some immovable properties to me by will which he wants to keep secret.  Please clarify whether will requires to be witnessed or I and my relative could sign as witnesses.

Q:-
My friend has immovable properties in States of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.  He has made a WILL in respect of these properties and wants to get it registered. Please clarify:
(a) As to the state in which will is to be registered.
(b) Can any member of the public or legal heirs of my friend obtain certified copies of the will?