Each week, our experts answer readers’ queries related to the division of assets, will, succession and more. Here are this week’s estate planning dilemmas from our readers.

My father has self-acquired as well as ancestral property. He’s alive and is writing a will in which he is naming only my brother as a beneficiary, not me. Can he will both the self-acquired and ancestral properties to my brother? — Ritu Sarin

Your father can only give the self-acquired property to anyone he wants in his will, not the ancestral property. Both you and your brother have an equal right over the ancestral property by virtue of your birth, as per the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005.

Also read:
Legal and inheritance rights of children, spouses, heirs and nominees

We are a team of food enthusiasts who have recently shut our restaurant business due to heavy losses. We still have to repay our debts to vendors and family members. Can you suggest how we can repay the money without affecting our relationship with them? — Ramkeerthan

The first step for all the team members should be to find jobs or other sources of income at the earliest. At the same time, you should write to all the people you owe money, reassuring them that you have every intention of repaying the debt, and also set a realistic time frame within which you will try to return it in easy instalments.

As an act of good faith and depending on the amount you owe to the people, all team members should list their existing financial assets, such as gold, insurance policies, mutual funds or furniture, that can either be sold or monetised. The money thus collected should be repaid in the order of priority as you seem fit. Once all members have found jobs, start repaying them from the money you can spare as per the timeframe you have set.

5 common doubts about writing a will resolved

​What is a will?

A Will is a document written by a living person stating his/her wishes to be executed after his/her death. You can simply write the will on a piece of paper, listing all your beneficiaries, assets and how you want them distributed. However, even a simple will can have hidden complexities and the inherent ambiguity may lead to legal battles, disputes and long-lasting bitterness among families.

There couldn’t be a more suitable time, what with the surrounding uncertainty and gloom, to not just write your will but also clear any doubts you have had on the same. Here are 5 questions you need to know the answers to or those that commonly trouble the minds of those planning their estates and creating wills.

I am 30 years old and lost my job in Delhi last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I was staying with my parents, but my father retired and moved to his home town. I have been unable to find a job since then and am being forced to stay with my aunt in another city while my father funds my basic needs. He can easily rent or buy a house for me in Delhi so that I can stay there and look for a job, but he refuses to do so. What should I do? — Vinay Saxena

Your parents have fulfilled their duty in educating you and enabling you to find a job and support yourself financially. Beyond this, they have no legal obligation to fund your needs, but are continuing to do so because they love you. If your father doesn’t want to rent or buy a house for you, he is fully entitled to do so as he may need the money to fund his own retirement. It is up to you to upgrade your skills and find a job instead of pestering your parents.

Disclaimer: The responses are based on limited facts provided by the queries. It is advisable to consult a legal practitioner after presenting full facts and documents. Responses should not be considered as legal advice in any manner whatsoever.

Read more: EconomicTimes


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