LAW BOOK

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I am plan­ning to pur­chase a prop­erty whose present owner had in­her­ited it un­der his fa­ther’s will. Un­der this will, the owner was named as both the ex­ecu­tor of the will as well as the sole ben­e­fi­ciary of this prop­erty. Should I be wor­ried?

—Sau­rabh Sa­gar Un­der a will, the tes­ta­tor may validly name the same in­di­vid­ual as both the ex­ecu­tor as well as a ben­e­fi­ciary. From the facts pro­vided, it is not clear whether this will has been con­tested by any other le­gal heirs. If any terms of this will have in­deed been con­tested, then you may check whether a pro­bate has been ob­tained for this will.

Over six months ago, I had taken up a prop­erty on lease for a term of five years. How­ever, due to cer­tain un­avoid­able con­tin­gen­cies, the lessor and I were un­able to get the lease deed reg­is­tered. Is it too late?

—Prakash Me­hta You may ex­e­cute a fresh lease deed for the re­main­ing du­ra­tion of the term (ie 4.5 years), and get the same duly stamped and reg­is­tered.

My de­ceased grand­fa­ther had ex­e­cuted a will dated July 2010 un­der which he has de­scribed the in­her­i­tance of all his prop­er­ties. Un­der this will, he named me and my brother as joint ben­e­fi­cia­ries of a par­tic­u­lar plot. How­ever, he also ex­e­cuted a doc­u­ment dated Jan­uary 2012 where he has named our mar­ried sis­ter as joint ben­e­fi­ciary of this plot. This doc­u­ment is not as com­pre­hen­sive as the ear­lier will as it only deals with in­her­i­tance of this par­tic­u­lar plot. Which doc­u­ment shall pre­vail?

—Ab­hi­jit Bose It seems that the doc­u­ment dated Jan­uary 2012 is only a cod­i­cil to the will dated July 2010. A cod­i­cil does not re­place or re­voke a pre­vi­ously ex­e­cuted will in its en­tirety – rather, it only amends/mod­i­fies cer­tain spe­cific terms of the pre­vi­ous will. Hence, the in­ten­tion of your de­ceased grand­fa­ther is to be as­cer­tained by read­ing both in­stru­ments to­gether.

As­sum­ing that the cod­i­cil has been validly ex­e­cuted (that is, in the same man­ner as a will), the terms of in­her­i­tance of the plot pre­vi­ously un­der the will would stand mod­i­fied by the cod­i­cil. That is, all three sib­lings would be con­sid­ered as joint ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the plot.

How­ever, in­her­i­tance of all other prop­er­ties de­scribed in the pre­vi­ous Will shall con­tinue to be as per the terms of the will.

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