Q. Can my father’s two brothers stake claim to his self-acquired property after his death if he passes away without writing a will? — R. Kumar

Since siblings do not comprise class I legal heirs, your father’s brothers cannot stake claim to his self-acquired property if he dies without writing a will. Only class I legal heirs, including his wife, children and mother, have the first claim over the property in question.

Q. My husband has a business while I have a salaried job. In 2018, he asked me to take a Rs.10 lakh loan for his business as I had a better credit score. He said he would return it to me in 2-3 years along with the profit the business would generate. So, including the Rs.5 lakh in my account, I gave him Rs.15 lakh for his business. Five years later, I’m still paying the EMI and he has not repaid me. He says that the money has been used in various investments and that he never thought I would ask for the money back like an outsider. He also wants me to repay the loan from the cash in my bank account that I have saved over the past five years. I feel this is not fair as my money would have increased significantly had I invested it. Should I ask him to return the money at the risk of souring our relationship or should I let it go? — M. Patel

Since you have no written agreement with your husband, you cannot legally force him to pay back the amount. However, you should insist he repay it, preferably with interest, irrespective of what he says. Since the relationship has already soured due to his actions, do not feel emotional pressure or guilt about asking for the amount. It is your hard-earned money and you have every right to demand it back. Also, do not repay the remaining loan yourself. Instead, ask your husband to repay it for you since it was taken for him in the first place. If, however, you do not want to upset your relationship, either suggest that he invest the amount for joint retirement in your name, or use the money for children’s goals, if you have kids, or purchase an asset of equivalent amount in your and kids’ names. You could also ask him to pay back the amount in instalments if he cannot repay the entire sum at one go. You could also approach a financial planner or a legal expert for advice on how to proceed.

Q .My father passed away recently and has several properties bought with his own money. However, my father’s brothers are threatening us, saying that they too have a right to a share in this property. Please advise. — Raj. V

Assuming that your father died without a will, his class I legal heirs will have the first claim over his self-acquired property. These would include his wife, children and mother. Since your uncles are siblings, they are not class I legal heirs, and hence, they cannot stake claim to the property.

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.

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