A Guide to Handling Property
Property-related legal concerns might feel incredibly confusing at times. Many people, for example, are unsure what to do if they are a property’s next of kin. This article aims to assist you in navigating the procedure of rightfully handling property if you are next of kin.
According to numerous well-known lawyers in Pakistan, there is no exact rule addressing the ‘next of kin. Despite this term being used for every bank account established and property acquired, Pakistan has yet to develop next of kin inheritance laws.
The next heir for the inheritance must remember that the property must be split among all lawful heirs, regardless of who the next of kin is. However, this scenario only applies when the next heir for the inheritance is not specifically mentioned in the previous owner’s will. You may also like to learn about the Kingdom Valley Location.
This is primarily due to the absence of any sort of law that identifies the next of kin. This absence of proper inheritance laws also makes it difficult for any non-biological heirs to inherit any property left behind by a dead person, despite being legal heirs.
Most experienced Pakistani attorneys explain that a specific process must be followed even in the case of a deceased person’s Will. All lawful heirs must appear before a judge in order to claim their share of the estate or forfeit it to the next rightful heir.
According to local attorneys, there are five simple actions that every legal heir must complete. The following legal heir has to follow these orders properly in order to make claims on the assets or property.
- The first thing to do is attain a Death Certificate of the person whose property is to be inherited from the General Council. The Death Certificate of the deceased is a legal document that confirms that the person has indeed passed away. After attaining the death certificate, the next closest family member to the deceased can start the legal procedure regarding the inheritance.
- The Civil Court issues a Suit for Declaration of Rights, where the matter is being heard. The declaration is effectively a newspaper ad stating the particular person’s death. This newspaper ad, coupled with a generic proclamation of death, lists all of the deceased’s assets as well as the legal heirs who would receive the property next in line. The advertising is meant to be a declaration for the wider general public. According to attorneys, the majority of family feuds over property arise when people post this announcement in newspapers with low circulation. As a result, this information does not reach any other legal heirs in time.
Another scenario is where the deceased leaves behind movable property. For moveable assets such as an automobile, funds in a bank account, jewels, stock shares, and so on, the courts issue a Succession Certificate to the rightful heirs. Letters of Administration are granted by the Civil Court for immovable property, so the Succession Certificate is not required.
- After a significant period, the judge summons the legal heirs and two witnesses (not related to the heirs) to attest that they are the sole successors to inherit property.
- Next, the court searches for a Surety for the arrangement, who undertakes to compensate any other legitimate heir who may contact the court or be identified later on.
- Following the completion of all legal requirements, the assets are split in accordance with the law (In most cases, Shariah Law is used).
While this entire procedure may appear to be laborious and time-consuming, regional governments are constantly working to make it easier for legal heirs to claim inheritances. According to local lawyers, the Punjab Assembly has directed Civil Courts to grant Succession Certificates on their own. This practice is extensively practiced throughout Pakistani housing societies, including Bahria Town and Defense Housing Authority.
Muhammad Junaid is a CEO of VM Sol, senior Analyst, and Search Engine Expert. Extensive experience being an IT Manager in Kingdom Valley Islamabad. Work for years with local and international enterprises. Also, represent well-known brands in the UAE.