If property is in Chennai, then the will needs to be probated, stamp duty paid
I want to write a will. Please explain whether there is any specified format in which a will is to be made. Will it suffice if written on a plain sheet of paper and attested by two witnesses? Is registration of will compulsory? If not registered, will it not be valid and acted upon by the successors after the demise of the testator?
— PV Krishnamurthy, Gopalapuram
You can write a will on a plain sheet of paper. The two witnesses who attest your signature on the will must actually see your signing and thereafter attest it after saying they were witness to you signing the will. If you are bequeathing any immovable property, then it has to be registered. If the property is in the Chennai Presidency area, then in order to give effect to the will after your demise, it has to be probated and stamp duty on the value of the property paid. If you are writing a will so as to devolve the property on your children, then it is not necessary to write a will and as per the Hindu Succession law, the properties will automatically go to your children. It is only in cases where you want to exclude someone likely to get a share, then the writing of the will may be necessary.
RDO will probe senior citizens' plaint on negligence by children
My elder brother left for Canada for higher studies six years ago and decided to settle there. My mother, who was working in a school as an office assistant put her savings to help with his higher studies. He completed his post-graduation, got a job and got married. Meanwhile, my mother and I live in Chennai and I am managing our expenses. My mother fell ill last year and her medical expenses come to over Rs 20,000 every month. I am unable to manage everything on my salary. My brother refuses to help, saying he is not earning enough and that he has his own family obligations. I have seen pictures on his wife’s social media account that show he has a very good life. I wish to file a legal case against my brother for negligence towards our mother. Doesn't he have a legal obligation to his mother since we don’t have a father? How do I go about this?
— Name withheld on request
Your mother did not invest any amount on your brother. She felt as a mother she has to support her elder son with his higher studies. It may not be correct to expect any return on the amount spent on love and filial affection. You have equal responsibility in supporting your mother. Anyhow, the Parliamentary law, Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 obliges the children to support their parents. For this, your mother will have to complain to the Revenue Divisional Officer of the local area (who is the competent authority under the Act) that she is not been taken care of by her son who is abroad. The authority will send notice and pass appropriate orders. It may be difficult to enforce such orders as he is not residing in this country. I am sure your mother will not be willing to make any such complaint against her son.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are of Justice K Chandru, who is providing guidance and direction based on his rich experience and knowledge of the law. This is not a substitute for legal recourse which must be taken as a follow-up if so recommended in these columns