The Inheritance Impasse: Karan and his family's struggles over property division (Part 1)
The Inheritance Impasse: Karan and his family's struggles over property division (Part 1)

“Blood is thicker than water.” It’s a common saying in English that represents the strength and commitment of familial bonds. It’s interesting to understand how the meaning has changed over time. Originally, the saying was “Blood of the covenant is thicker than water of the womb.” It meant that relationships formed through shared experiences are stronger than relationships formed through birth. The older form of the sentiment is truer than ever. Where wealth and prosperity are concerned, family is just as likely to turn on you as a stranger. No one knows this better than Karan and his family.

In his youth, Karan’s father worked himself to the bone to keep his family afloat. He gave up his hopes of higher education worked three physically intensive jobs at a time since his teenage years. He slowly accumulated some wealth, and the early 1980s, Karan’s father bought a two acre piece of land. He wanted his and his siblings’ families to live as a joint family in a traditional Indian household. At the time, division of property had not even crossed his mind and he expected his family to stay close knit forever. On the religious advice of a pundit, Karan’s father registered the land on his own father’s name.

In spite of his dream, Karan’s father and his siblings were never able to come together as he wanted. Due to differences in age and careers and other life obstacles, the siblings remained separated with the goal of some day reuniting in a family manor. Years passed and no progress was made. The idea of coming together became something to laugh about and reminisce during parties. Eventually, Karan’s grandfather’s health declined  and the family came together once more at his death bed. Karan’s grandfather had put off creating a will and suddenly there was no one to direct the passage of inheritance. 

At this point, Karan’s family’s story takes an atrocious and tragic turn where the villainous older siblings try to con the younger sibling - Karan’s father. Because Karan’s grandfather did not have a will, there was a lack of clarity in the division of wealth. Karan’s two older brothers and older sister took advantage of the situation and claimed that the land Karan’s father bought should be split up equally since “the land was their father’s.” Karan’s father was then left with the impossibly difficult choice between taking his siblings to court or having to pay them off

Read the next part to see how Karan resolves his problems! Part 2

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