In this article we take a comprehensive look at what is a relinquishment deed and what are the important aspects of an effective relinquishment deed.
A relinquishment deed, as the name suggests, is a legal instrument that is executed between two parties with the purpose of relinquishment of some kind of right or title by one party over to the other. This particular instrument is very commonly used in matters of property. Read more to know all about Relinquishment Deed.
Co ownership of properties is not an uncommon practice. There can be several reasons for two or more people to opt for this model of ownership. Members of the same family often co-own properties. Businessmen enter into co-ownership contracts for a business opportunity.
So in a situation where such co-ownership of property exists, a relinquishment deed is a deed which allows one co-owner to relinquish or give up his or her share in such property to the other person. The reason for the relinquishment can be anything. Maybe one co-owner is in need for liquidated funds and decides to relinquish the share in return for compensation. Maybe one relative relinquishes his or her share in the property to the other co-owner out of the sheer goodness of heart.
And so, when this situation arises, the law requires the parties in such a transaction to put down, in clear terms, in a relinquishment deed that such a transaction is being executed and the parties wish the transaction to be honoured as legal and binding.
When To Execute A Relinquishment Deed?
There are no situational restrictions on executing a relinquishment deed. But there are certain situations where the need for a relinquishment deed is most likely to arise. Let us take a look at these situations.
Intestate death – An intestate death is when a person dies without leaving behind a will. When this happens, the provisions of the succession laws are invoked. The provisions of the Indian Succession Act, 1925 will determine how the property of the deceased is divided amongst the legal heirs of the deceased. The term legal heirs is defined in the Act. Hindus, however, are not subject to the provisions for this act. The division of the estate of a deceased intestate Hindu will be distributed amongst the legal heirs as per the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act. This is because, unlike other religions, Hindus have a complex familial structure which is commonly referred to as the Hindu Undivided Family, wherein they have a common set of rules and traditions that have been in practice for centuries and are still in practice in many places.
The issue in this case is that when immovable property gets divided in a blanket manner between the legal heirs of the deceased, it becomes difficult to determine who owns which part of that property. Then comes the question of maintaining the property and who is in charge of maintaining what part of the property. Who is to bear what expenses? And most importantly, whenever some modifications have to be made or some regulatory matters regarding the property have to be attended to, the approval or presence of all co-owners becomes pertinent. And so, in such cases, the legal heirs who have inherited intestate property through the indiscriminate provisions of the succession acts prefer to relinquish their share in the property to the other heir or heirs in the larger interest of the maintenance of the property by executing a relinquishment deed. It may also be a case where one heir has no interest in the property and wants to sell his or her share, in which case the remaining legal heirs may choose to compensate that heir in return for relinquishment of rights.
Relinquishment by spouse – It is not uncommon for spouses to buy property in their joint names making them co-owners of the property. But many times when marital trouble arises and there is talk of division of property, the major dispute is usually over who gets the co-owned real estate. Because all other items may or may not have formal ownership papers and it is unlikely that spouses would have co-ownership in every item of their marital arrangement. But the property has papers and a clear conference of ownership rights over one half of the property. It is here that a relinquishment deed may come into the picture where one spouse might choose to relinquish his or her share in the property in the name of the other spouse as a part of the divorce settlement.
Besides, in India, there are several benefits for properties that are women’s names. For instance, banks offer lower rates of interest on loans if the property is registered in the name of a woman. So many men relinquish their shares in the property in the name of their wife to avail such benefits.
On the other hand, many women have properties in their name when they get married. So many women relinquish the property in the name of their husbands for a better and consolidated estate management.
Investment related relinquishment – Many people invest in property for reasons other than cohabitation. There may be a good investment opportunity in some locality which might be seeing a boom in the real estate market and two or more people decide to pool in their funds and invest in the real estate in order to reap the benefits of the boom. So they may purchase properties as co-owners. And then there may be a case where one of the co-owners is in urgent need of funds and may choose to liquidate his share in the property. So he or she may execute a relinquishment deed in return for compensation from the other co-owners. It can also be that one of the parties feels like he or she is satisfied with the profits so far and doesn’t wish to pull out his or her investment while the other co-owner wishes to wait for further returns. Once again, the co-owner wishing to pull out of the investment will execute a relinquishment deed in favour of the other co-owner in return for his or her share.
Relinquishment by legal guardian – When the legal heir to an intestate property is a minor, he or she is appointed a legal guardian who is in charge of the minor’s estate until he or she becomes a major. There is a provision in the law that if a legal guardian believes that it is in the best interest of his or her ward to relinquish the ward’s share in the estate to another legal heir, then he or she may approach the court and seek approval for such relinquishment. If the court approves such relinquishment, then the legal guardian can execute a relinquishment deed on behalf of the minor heir.
Learn More About Purpose of the Relinquishment Deed
Contents Of A Relinquishment Deed
Details of Releasor – The full name, father’s name, age & permanent address of the person who is relinquishing the rights must be mentioned.
Details of Release – Similarly, all the details of the person to whom the rights are being relinquished have to be mentioned as above.
Property Details – All the specifics of the property must be described in detail, starting from the address of the property as per the property deed, description of any immovable articles on the property, such as constructions or trees or water bodies. All details are necessary so that the relinquishment can be absolute.
Statement of Purpose – This is the clause where the context or the background as to why this deed is being executed is mentioned in brief.
List of other heirs – In case there are other co-owners apart from the parties to this agreement, then the entire list of all those co-owners along with name, address and share in property
Share in property – Here the proportion of heirs as it stands prior to the execution of the deed will be listed first. This will include the share of all the heirs including those who are not a part of the relinquishment deed.
Relinquishment – In this clause the relinquishment of the releasors share will be declared. A list of the new share pattern in the property holding will be done under this clause. The deed is to be accompanied with a declaration by the releasor that they are relinquishing their rights for good and neither they nor their heirs will have any claims on the property in the future. The list of the heirs who are not party to the agreement will also be mentioned so that the overall shareholding pattern of the property after the relinquishment takes effect can be seen.
Signatures – Finally the deed has to be signed by the parties to the relinquishment deed along with a witness for each signatory. Once this is done, the deed is registered with the authorities along with the prescribed fees and stamp duty. Once the authorities make the changes in the register and the new registration deed is executed, the relinquishment can be considered complete.
Property matters are notoriously known to be complicated, highly disputed and extremely tedious in terms of time and effort. And in such matters the only item that carries the maximum weightage in settling the matter is the paperwork. So property-related paperwork is very serious business and requires specialised expertise. So it is always advisable to seek the counsel of an experienced property expert when dealing with it. If you have some property related legal requirements or queries, get in touch with us today and we will put you in touch with our best experts to assist you.