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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.  He has sold one such immovable property when I was minor and utilized the sale proceeds for his visit to USA.  The said sale was done when I was five years old.  Now I have competed 18 years on 15.6.2008. I am the only son to my father.  I want to assert my claim over this ancestral property.  Please advise me suitably.

Q:- I have a self-acquired property. By a Will I bequeathed the property to my son and registered the Will. Thereafter, I changed my mind and bequeathed the property to my daughter through another Will, which is not registered. Is this valid?

Q:- My husband died leaving behind him, my child and me. I depend on the income from my husband’s property. Now, my mother-in-law is asking for a share in the property. She has other income. Is she entitled to a share in my husband's property?

Q:- We are three brothers and we have inherited the ancestral property situated in Chamrajpet, Bangalore. The original property was owned by my grandfather, which was, partitioned between his two sons, one being my father. The Partition Deed is registered. On the death of my father we three broth¬ers, orally partitioned the parti¬tion. The portion deed is not in writing and not registered. But all the three have separate khatas and properties are assessed separately. Is it necessary to have the Partition Deed registered? We three broth¬ers are in good terms with each other.

Q:- I have converted from Hinduism to Christianity. Will change of religion affect my succession to the property of my Hindu parents?