After the death of your sister the properties must be inherited only as said in the Will of your father. It was not challenged and it is valid until it is declared void by any court of law. It cannot be divided among all the sib linings. They may put a claim but they have not challenged till today the Will executed by your father knowing fully well the contents therein. It was also acted upon by your late sister. Since she has not executed any Will then the earlier Will of your father Will prevail even today.
Landmark decisions of the Supreme Court
i. Effect of nomination made under Government Saving Certificates and Life Insurance Policy. – [Vishin N. Khanchandani & Anr. v. Vidya Kachmandas Khanchandani & Anr. (246 ITR 306)]
ii. Hindu Succession Act – succession of property devolving from a female Hindu.– [Bhagat Ram v. Teja Singh (252 ITR 324)]
iii. Indian Succession Act sec. 213 and sec. 57 – Will – Does not operate only against Indian Christian – sec. 213 does not discriminate on basis of religion. – [Clarence Pais v. Union of India (2001 AIR 1151)]
iv. Will provided uneven distribution of assets is valid. – [S. Sundaresa Pai v. Mrs. Sumangal T. Pai (2001 (8) SCALE 309)]
v. Disposition intra vivos by gift of undivided share or interest in coparcenery property without consent of the coparceners : Gift does not partake character of Testamentary Succession u/s. 30 of Hindu Succession Act, 1956. – [Pavitri Devi & Anr. v. Darbari Singh & Other (1993 4 SCC 392)]
vi. Interpretation of Will – Distinction between vested interest and contingent interest created by Will. –[Usha Subbarao v. B.N. Vishveswaraiah & Ors. (1996) 4 SCC 201]
vii. Proving of Will — If evidence adduced is legal and convincing, satisfies the conscience of the court and there is nothing unnatural about the transaction, mere conjecture or unfounded suspicion should not be permitted to sway the verdict that the will has been proved — Witness being classmate of the son of the legatee would be interested in obliging his classmate’s mother so as to benefit her and go to the extent of falsely deposing was too farfetched an inference to draw — There is no rule of law or of evidence which requires a doctor to be kept present when a Will is executed – [Madhukar D. Shende v. Tarabai Aba Shedage (2002) 2 SCC 85]
viii. Bequest in favour of wife — Absolute interest or limited right bequeathed — If property is given with a right of alienation, held, bequest is a conferment of an absolute estate — Having granted absolute right or interest to a devisee it is not open to the testator to further bequeathed the same property in favour of someone else — Therefore, any subsequent bequest in the same Will in favour of someone else would be invalid — However, if the Will clearly indicates that only a limited or restricted right is being bequeathed to the wife, then a subsequent bequest, in favour of someone else to take effect after the death of the wife would be valid. – [Mauleshwar Mani & Ors. v. Jagdish Prasad & Ors. (2002) 2 SCC 468].
ix. In view of section 63 and the proviso to sec. 68 of the Evidence Act, the requirement of law would be fully satisfied if only one of the attesting witnesses is examined to prove the Will – (Ramabai Padmakar Patil v. Rukminibai Vishnu Vekhande (2003 AIR SCW 4018).
x. Section 118 of the Indian Succession Act is discriminatory and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. Therefore, restriction on an Indian Christian having a nephew or niece or any nearer relative to bequeath his property for religious or charitable use is struck down as unconstitutional. Their Lordships further observed that the word 'relative’ means legitimate relative and has no application to any relationship by marriage. Thus a wife of a person is not his relative but an adopted is. – [John Vallamattom v. Union of India (2003 AIR SCW 3536)].
xi. Succession Act, 1925, Ss. 63, 70 – S. 68 Proviso – Codicil – Execution and attestation of – Must be in same manner as a Will – Since codicil is an instrument made in relation to a Will.
Attestation of codicil – Registrar of deeds cannot be 'statutory attesting witness’ to codicil merely by discharging duties of registration – To be attesting witness to codicil Registrar should attest signature of testator in manner contemplated by S. 63(c) of the Indian Succession Act, 1925.
Codicil dictated by testator of Will in presence of witness and Registrar – Signed by testator in presence of witness and Registrar – Both Registrar and witness put their signatures with a view to attest signature of testator – However, neither the Registrar nor the witness called in witness-box to depose attestation – Codicil not proved.
Registration of document as codicil or Will – Does not dispense with need of proving execution and attestation of codicil/Will as per Evidence Act – Endorsements made by Registrar are relevant for registration purposes only. – [Bhagat Ram and Another v. Suresh and Others (2003 AIR SCW 6518)]
xii. Succession Act, 1925, Ss. 220, 227 – Probate or Letters of Administration – Grant of – Does confer title to property – But merely enables administration of estate of deceased – Testamentary Court is only concerned with finding out whether or not testator executed the testamentary instrument of his free Will. – [Mrs. Vijay C. Gurshaney & Anr. v. Delhi Development Authority (2003 AIR SCW 4158)]
xiii. Hindu Succession Act — Father-in-law of the widow governed by Mitakshara school died intestate. Sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Hindu Women’s Right to Property Act, 1937 would apply in respect of joint family property but thereunder only widow of the said father-in-law and not widow of his son would be entitled to a claim. Hence the said widow of the son acquired no right under the Act. [Ram Vishal (Dead by L. ₹and Others v. Jagan Nath and Another (2004) 9 SCC 302]
xiv. Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (78 of 1956) — Adoption of son does not deprive adoptive mother of power to dispose of her separate property by transfer or by will. [Ugre Gowdav v. Nagegowda (D) by L. ₹(2004) AIR SCW 4308].
xv. Proving of Will — Onus to establish allegations of undue influence, fraud or coercion is on the persons making such allegations. Proof in either case should be one of satisfaction of a prudent man. [Sridevi and Others v. Jayaraja Shetty and Ors. (2005) 2 SCC 784]
xvi. Genuineness of unregistered will — The onus of proving the will is on the propounder and in the absence of suspicious circumstances surrounding the execution of the will, proof of testamentary capacity and proof of the signature of the testator, as required by law, is sufficient to discharge the onus. Where, however, there are suspicious circumstances, the onus is on the propounder to explain all legitimate suspicions to the satisfaction of the court before it accepts the Will as genuine. [Meenakshiammal (dead) through L. ₹v. Chandrsekaran & Another (2005) 1 SCC 280].
xvii. Primary evidence sufficient to discharge the onus — Will being a document has to be proved by primary evidence except where the court permits a document to be proved by leading secondary evidence.
In order to assess as to whether the will has been validly executed and is a genuine document, the propounder has to show that the will was signed by the testator and that he had put his signatures to the testament of his own free will; that he was at the relevant time in a sound disposing state of mind and understood the nature and effect of the dispositions and that the testator had signed it in the presence of two witnesses who attested it in his presence and in the presence of each other. Once these elements are established, the onus which rests on the propounder is discharged. [Daulat Ram and Others v. Sodha and Ors. (2005) 1 SCC 40]
Under section 263 of the Indian Succession Act, the grant of probate or letters of administration may be revoked if the proceedings to obtain the grant were defective in substance; or the grant being obtained fraudulently by making a false suggestion or by suppressing from the Court something material to the case or if the grant was obtained by means of untrue allegation or if the grantee has wilfully and without reasonable cause omitted to exhibit an inventory or account in accordance with the provisions of Chapter – VII of Part – IX of the Indian Succession Act.