Shares in Property
Q: My father died eight years ago leaving behind his wife, two sons, three daughters, one brother and two sisters. Both his parents died long time ago. His estate is mainly a house valued today at around 1.8 million rupees. How is his property to be shared out? If the two sons want to have the house, how much should they pay to each of the other heirs? May I also point out that the eldest son used to maintain the house and receive the income from the rooms rented.
A: What I am saying about the sharing out of your father’s inheritance applies to the house and to everything else he left behind, including any cash amount, payment from his work, furniture, etc. Because he had children of his own, including two sons, his brother and two sisters are blocked from inheriting him. In other words, they get nothing. Siblings inherit only when the deceased has neither sons nor parents surviving him.
The only one of your father’s heirs that has a fixed share is his wife, who inherits one eighth of all his property. The remainder, which is seven eighths, is divided into seven shares, one for each of the three daughters and two each for the two sons.
Thus, in this particular case, each of the daughters inherits an amount equal to that of the man’s wife. This does not apply in other cases. If you want the shares to be determined in figures, then each of the four women takes 225,000 rupees, and each of the two sons takes 450,000, assuming that the value of the house is 1.8 million. The same proportion applies to other items of your father’s estate.
The complication arises from the eldest son’s work in the house and income from it. You say that this was the case for several years during your father’s lifetime. It all depends on the arrangements your father and brother had. If it was agreed between them that the rent was in compensation for the work your brother put in, then it belongs to him. If no such agreement was made, you and your brothers and sisters need to agree some arrangement. If there was such an arrangement, you are recommended to consider that it has continued for the years that followed your father’s death. If not, you need to look into the matter carefully.
The only thing I want to say is that you should sort it out amicably. Unless there is clear and unwarranted favoritism to one party, it is better to let things as they are. You make the division now and everyone takes their dues.