Everyone is entitled to own or inherit property in Pakistan, regardless of their residential status and/or nationality. People often get confused to identify the difference between transfer and registration of property, which are two totally different topics explained in one of our previous posts.
Although Pakistan is a Muslim-majority nation, it comprises a diverse population mix of different cultures, religions and sects. However, we’ll touch upon the intricacies of religious obligations involving inheritance and property rights provisions in the country some other day. In this blog, we shall answer some of the most basic and crucial information about the transfer of property in Pakistan.
More on Legalities Governing Transfer of Property in Pakistan
Below are the two most common cases pertaining to the transfer of property in Pakistan.
- Immovable property given to someone as a gift
- Inheritance of property after someone’s death
Let’s discuss these scenarios in detail.
Immovable Property Given to Someone as a Gift
Any transfer of property or land rights before the owners’ death is referred to as a “gift.” The scenario of gifting property involves immediate transfer of property ownership by one person to another and the process is only completed upon the acceptance of the “gift.” Immovable properties are usually offered as gifts without taking their market value and prices into consideration.
According to the law, “every Pakistani citizen of sound mind” has the right to dispose of their property in the form of a gift. Gifting of an immovable property made under undue influence, domination, deceit and coercion is not valid.
Let’s take a look at some of the essentials regarding the validity of the property transfer in Pakistan as a gift.
- Immediate divesting of the donor from the ownership of a particular property
- Declaration of the gifted property by the donor
- Acceptance of the gift by the donee.
- Gifted property’s possession delivery to the donee by the donor
Here are some key documents required to transfer your own property to your friend, acquaintance or family member as a gift:
- Original Allotment Letter
- Property Tax Clearance Certificate
- Photocopies of CNIC (attested ones)
- Statement recorded before the concerned Deputy Director along with his official seal
- NOC from Building Control Authority
- Bank Draft of PKR 3000 or PKR 5000 (depending on the case)
Inheritance of Property After Someone’s Death
Inheritance of property in Pakistan involves the automatic devolution of property rights to the legal heirs at the time of the owner’s death. So, let’s take a look at the key highlights of inheritance law governing the phenomena of change of ownership of properties in Pakistan.
In the light of Transfer of Property Act and Islamic law, irrespective of secs, there is no concept of ‘Will’ as a result of which, all shares are distributed to legal heirs during the process of succession.
The distribution of share depends on the closeness of devisee to the deceased person. For example, blood relations usually have the closest ties. It might not be possible for us to summarize on the all of the scenarios regarding the distribution of shares here as this phenomenon has many angles and aspects varying from case to case.
Any property can be donated by the owner during their lifetime. They are free to give it to someone as a gift or charity it to an individual, welfare trust or humanitarian organization. Once the property is donated, no one will have the right to challenge such decision even after the death of the donor.
The process of transfer of property in Pakistan after someone’s death is incomplete without an inheritance certificate, locally known as the wirasatnama. Once the legal heirs have been issued with inheritance certificates, only then, they will be allowed to transfer immovable property to their name.
What is Inheritance Certificate?
The inheritance certificate, or wirasatnama, is a certified and registered document issued by the civil court. It is one of the most crucial requisitions in the event of an individual’s death in order to transfer the rights of the properties under their ownership to someone else.
It is also a mandatory requirement of legal authorities as well as housing schemes to check if the legal heirs have an inheritance certificate or not to further continue with the process of contracts and legal agreements.
How can you Acquire Inheritance Certificate?
The inheritance certificate is not only important for property transfer in Pakistan in someone else’s name, but it also plays a key role in establishing and safeguarding heir’s property rights according to Transfer of Property Act. To acquire a wirasatnama, there are certain documents that are required to be submitted in the civil court.
Let’s take a look at the list of those documents:
- Deceased Person’s Death certificate
- CNIC of the Deceased
- CNICs of the Heirs
- Public Advertisement and Issued Legal Notices
- Statement of Heir(s)
- One independent Witness
- Mutation/Registry of Immovable Property
The process of acquiring the inheritance certificate involves a few simple steps. First of all, you need to take help from a professional lawyer who will prepare a written plaint mentioning every important detail about legal heir and the immovable property left behind by the deceased.
Around four hearing sessions are carried out in the civil court based on recording of evidence, statements and arguments of the heirs. These court sessions are mandatory for the complete satisfaction of the civil court only after which the inheritance certificate is issued to the legal heir.
*Note: After the issuance of the Wirasatnama, the heirs can also apply to get an original copy of the court’s official order.
To get more updates regarding laws and taxation governing the inheritance of movable and immovable properties in the country, keep following Zameen Blog, Pakistan’s most favourite lifestyle blog.
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