• Unequal sharing of ancestral property

Hello Sir/Madame,

Bit of background. My wife and myself along with our daughter are based abroad. My wife is the youngest of 4 children (2 elder brothers and 1 elder sister). My in-laws own Agricultural land and other property in their native village in TamilNadu. As both are getting old, they have started to settle the property to their Children. The issue here is the following:

1. All the property related details and transactions were managed by my Father-in-laws brother (my wife’s uncle) as my Father-In-Law suffered stroke when he was in his mid-50s(he’s 78 now). 
2. The uncle has a daughter. Married and settled abroad(Dubai). Uncle’s wife passed away some 30 years ago. They are also legal heirs to these property as these are inherited property.
3. Altogether 8 of them are the interested parties.

The problem: The 3 elders. My in-laws and wife’s uncle are now settling the property as stated earlier. They are arbitrarily settling the property in different names. Despite my wife asking repeatedly for complete details of the overall property as well as the sharing formula being worked on, no clarity is being provided. The 2 elder brothers and 1 elder sister live in the same village and same house and have full information of the properties owned. The Uncle’s daughter who is in Dubai is kept informed by her dad. 

My wife, being the last child in the family, as well as being away from the proceedings is at a disadvantage. Disadvantage in terms of knowing what is the overall assets and what is the share each of them is getting. 

September of this year, when my wife went for holidays to her place, the uncle showed a few property documents settled to her name. He is still holding on to the original document. He stated that the property is worth 2 crores. However, no valuation whatsoever was provided. I told my wife to NOT to sign any release documents. she has not.

Questions:
1.	How can we find out what is the overall property the joint family owns given the secrecy being maintained?
2.	How can we know what is being shared and given to each of the legal heirs?
3.	What sort of legal recourse we have, considering that repeated requests from my wife over the past year, have met with no responses on details. 

kindly advise on priority as this is disturbing my wife's peace of mind. We also think lot of properties are being sold and converted to cash and given to other siblings.

Best regards,
Chandrasekaran.
Asked 20 days ago in Property Law from Singapore
Religion: Hindu
1) take search of land records to find details of property owned by family 

2) it would also reveal the transfers of property made in favour of family members 

3) contact a local lawyer and on basis of search report decide your course of action 

4) if it is ancestral property your wife can file suit for partition to claim her share in property and seek injunction restraining sale of property 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23151 Answers
1216 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. It's really difficult to get all information regarding the property left by her predecessor in interest. It's tedious and time taking.
2. Insist on settlement deed whereby all the property is being divided among all legal owners. This alone will ensure transparency.
3. From your post it is apparent property is not getting divided fairly among all stakeholders. Hence you have rightly advised your wife not to sign any documents.
4. In this situation I may advice would be to file suit for partition to claim due share of your wife.
This alone will ensure justice for your wife.
Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
5179 Answers
54 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
Dear Chandrasekaran
My opinion on your queries are as under:

1.	How can we find out what is the overall property the joint family owns given the secrecy being maintained?
Opinion: File an application for inspection before the revenue department/Tehsildar and get the details of the properties, you may take help of any lawyer who work in this field in Tehsil of area where the properties are situated.


2.	How can we know what is being shared and given to each of the legal heirs?
Opinion: Sharing the property either by way of sale deed or gift deed or by way of family settlement deed, so revenue department/Tehsildar will have maintain all the records in their office, you may contact personally or through your lawyer.

3.	What sort of legal recourse we have, considering that repeated requests from my wife over the past year, have met with no responses on details. 
Opinion: Your wife may file a civil suit for partition before the civil court and claim her share if the property is ancestral.
Opposite parties will have to give detail of the properties before the court.

Feel Free to Call
Nadeem Qureshi
Advocate, New Delhi
3522 Answers
129 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
1. In whose names the properties stand now?

2. Since your in laws are planning to settle the properties, it appears that the properties are standing in the individual or joint names of your father in law and his brother.

3. The basic principle of law in this regard is that during the lifetime of father, their children are not entitled to any share of their properties.

4. Your father in law is within his right to settle/gift the entire properties or any share thereof to anybody or bodies he feels like without taking your wife's consent or informing your wife.

5. It will be prudent on your wife to negotiate with her father and manage to get as much share she can get from her father's share of the properties or father's properties.

Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12077 Answers
228 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Questions:
1.	How can we find out what is the overall property the joint family owns given the secrecy being maintained?

Your wife has to personally gather the information about all the properties that are lying in her father's name and her uncle's name separately and jointly. 
If the property fell into your father and his brother's hands by way of partition or proper inheritance then the character of ancestral property shall stand diminished or extinguished. 
She has to gather the information of the property documents of the various properties that are yet to be partitioned, after obtaining the particulars of the document number she may obtain certified copy of the registered document, get EC of them and ascertain what is her entitlement out of them. 
The problem that how she can obtain the documents is to be manged by her through her own sources. 





2.	How can we know what is being shared and given to each of the legal heirs?

This is an internal family affair which can be obtained through some reliable sources only and legally you cannot obtain the details if you dont have any details about them. 




3.	What sort of legal recourse we have, considering that repeated requests from my wife over the past year, have met with no responses on details. 

If she is having the details of the property she should consult a local advocate, get the details of her entitlement in the said properties and then plan to issue a legal notice to all of them seeking her share by partition and separate possession subsequent to which she can file a partition suit seeking the said relief. 
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
13948 Answers
127 Consultations
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