Q540. US citizen inheriting agricultural land in India. How to claim ownership

Question: I have the following questions on behalf of my mother: Can my mother (US Citizen) inherit a piece of agricultural land that belonged to her parents (died a few years ago) in India? Can she send a specific POA to her cousin in India to transfer the land in her name? (as she is unable to travel - health reasons) Can the POA be just a notarized POA or anything special needs to be done? She wants to gift this land to me eventually. Is this possible and how? I'm US Citizen also. Your help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Rita Patel. Answer: Regarding your questions: 1. Yes! your mother can inherit agricultural land that her parents had owned, even though she is a US citizen. 2. Yes! she can send a power of attorney to her cousin in India. 3. POA must be attested by a consular official at the Indian Consulate that is applicable to the area where you reside in the United States. 4. Agricultural land cannot be acquired by way of gift by NRIs/Foreigners. The only way to acquire Agricultural land in India in your case is by way of inheritance. When a person inherits property in India, any type of property be it a house, land or agricultural land; the transfer of title needs to be done, from the name of the previous owner to the new owner. If your mother’s parents passed away a few years ago, did her parents leave a will? was it mutated? In case you are wondering what mutation is, read on. What is Mutation in India Mutation, is the entry in the property records, maintained by the various Government offices such as Sub-registrar /Tahsildar offices. Think of them as municipal offices or land record offices in USA. Such records show the name of the person who is the owner of the property along with other essential details about the property. When someone passes away, the records of ownership should be updated. This is mutation of property. So you need to find out in whose name the agricultural land that your mother inherited from her parents is currently shown on the records. Then your mother has to file for mutation. This process takes time. An application has to be filed along with documents such as: Death certificate Copy of will or Succession Certificate The required court fee etc. The process of mutation of property also involves giving a general notice that gives time to any other party who may object to the mutation and also make a claim for the property. In case there are other siblings and relatives anyone can object. In the absence of a will, things can get really complicated. As property prices soar in India, property disputes are common amongst relatives these days. Trying to claim property in India while sitting in USA is not an easy matter! Sending power of attorney is a personal decision for your mother to make, my suggestion would be that you should consult with a lawyer in the United States to get help in drafting the POA. Don’t send a general power of attorney to India. The POA should clearly specify exactly what things the person getting the POA can do on your behalf. A lawyer can explain the different types of POA documents to you and your mother and help safeguard your interest.
Disclaimer: Information provided is for general knowledge only and should not be deemed to be professional advice. For professional advice kindly consult a professional accountant, immigration advisor or the Indian consulate. Rules and regulations do change from time to time. Please note that in case of any variation between what has been stated on this website and the relevant Act, Rules, Regulations, Policy Statements etc. the latter shall prevail. © Copyright 2006 Nriinformation.com
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Q540. US citizen inheriting

agricultural land in India. How to

claim ownership

Question: I have the following questions on behalf of my mother: Can my mother (US Citizen) inherit a piece of agricultural land that belonged to her parents (died a few years ago) in India? Can she send a specific POA to her cousin in India to transfer the land in her name? (as she is unable to travel - health reasons) Can the POA be just a notarized POA or anything special needs to be done? She wants to gift this land to me eventually. Is this possible and how? I'm US Citizen also. Your help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Rita Patel. Answer: Regarding your questions: 1. Yes! your mother can inherit agricultural land that her parents had owned, even though she is a US citizen. 2. Yes! she can send a power of attorney to her cousin in India. 3. POA must be attested by a consular official at the Indian Consulate that is applicable to the area where you reside in the United States. 4. Agricultural land cannot be acquired by way of gift by NRIs/Foreigners. The only way to acquire Agricultural land in India in your case is by way of inheritance. When a person inherits property in India, any type of property be it a house, land or agricultural land; the transfer of title needs to be done, from the name of the previous owner to the new owner. If your mother’s parents passed away a few years ago, did her parents leave a will? was it mutated? In case you are wondering what mutation is, read on. What is Mutation in India Mutation, is the entry in the property records, maintained by the various Government offices such as Sub-registrar /Tahsildar offices. Think of them as municipal offices or land record offices in USA. Such records show the name of the person who is the owner of the property along with other essential details about the property. When someone passes away, the records of ownership should be updated. This is mutation of property. So you need to find out in whose name the agricultural land that your mother inherited from her parents is currently shown on the records. Then your mother has to file for mutation. This process takes time. An application has to be filed along with documents such as: Death certificate Copy of will or Succession Certificate The required court fee etc. The process of mutation of property also involves giving a general notice that gives time to any other party who may object to the mutation and also make a claim for the property. In case there are other siblings and relatives anyone can object. In the absence of a will, things can get really complicated. As property prices soar in India, property disputes are common amongst relatives these days. Trying to claim property in India while sitting in USA is not an easy matter! Sending power of attorney is a personal decision for your mother to make, my suggestion would be that you should consult with a lawyer in the United States to get help in drafting the POA. Don’t send a general power of attorney to India. The POA should clearly specify exactly what things the person getting the POA can do on your behalf. A lawyer can explain the different types of POA documents to you and your mother and help safeguard your interest.
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RI Information
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Disclaimer: Information provided is for general knowledge only and should not be deemed to be professional advice. For professional advice kindly consult a professional accountant, immigration advisor or the Indian consulate. Rules and regulations do change from time to time. Please note that in case of any variation between what has been stated on this website and the relevant Act, Rules, Regulations, Policy Statements etc. the latter shall prevail. © Copyright 2006 Nriinformation.com
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