Inheritance is defined as the passing of wealth, debt, or obligations from one person to another in accordance with the binding rules. Inheritance usually takes place in two ways, i.e., using a will or through legal succession. Property inheritance often results in disputes, so it is important for the legal heir to carefully complete the inheritance process after the death of the owner.
And in order to help you make informed financial decisions, we discuss a few critical things related to property inheritance that you must be aware of.
Transfer of title of the property
How would you claim that you own the property? You need some papers, documents, or legal proofs to establish your ownership claim. There could be two situations, first when you have a will, and second when you don’t hold a will.
If the will is available and the distribution of debt, assets, shares, and rights are decided according to it, you can initiate the steps to transfer the property by applying at the sub-registrar’s office. You would require the property documents along with the will papers.
However, if the will is not available, you will have to produce an affidavit and the succession certificate with no-objection certificates from other legal heirs.
After the property is registered in your name, you need to apply for the mutation of property title which requires the transfer of the title from one person to another in the records of the land revenue department.
It will be noteworthy here that you’ll have to repay any outstanding bill or loan against the property before you proceed with the transfer of the title. If the property is mortgaged, you will need prior consent from the lender to transfer the property. Also, you’ll have to comply with the existing lease agreement in case the inherited property was rented out.
Plan the inheritance
It is better to plan the inheritance well in advance to avoid any dispute in the future. The person making the will should take all the beneficiaries in confidence and get it registered. Once the will is registered, the registrar keeps the original/copy in its possession; later, the applicant can get the copy of the will from the registrar. This helps the testator to ensure nobody can make a change in the will except the testator him/herself.
However, do note that the testator can withdraw or change the will anytime, and the last will made by the testator supersedes all the previous versions.
Other points to keep in mind when inheriting a property
First, the law of inheritance is different for different religions. For example, the Hindu Succession Act applies to Hindus (including Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs), the Indian Succession Act applies to Christians and the Muslim Personal Law applies to Muslims.
Secondly, a will is not cancelled until it is revised or revoked by the testator or superseded by another will; it can be enforced after the death of the testator and can remain valid forever.
Thirdly, inheritance doesn’t result in any tax on the person who inherits the property as the property passes from one person to another person in the family, and no purchase or sale takes place between them.
In conclusion, it makes a lot of sense to re-emphasize on the fact that the absence of a will can lead to legal disputes which may take several years to get resolved. So, if you want your legacy to be passed on to your family members in a hassle-free manner, make your will cautiously and don’t hesitate in taking the help of a legal advisor to avoid a mistake or a lapse. Also, you’ll be well-advised to factor in all the above-mentioned pointers to ensure a smooth property inheritance process.
The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.com.