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No will? Legal heirs under Hindu Succession Act to inherit property

When a person dies without leaving a will, then The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 applies for division of wealth. This law applies to Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs.


Have you written a will?

Must make a Will

If not, then even if you are hail and hearty there are enough reasons that you should write a will today.

By writing a will, you will ensure that:

  • Your movable and immovable assets are divided the way you wanted.

  • There won't be in-fights within the family and mutual respect will be maintained.

  • There won't be any unnecessary litigations within family members/ legal heirs.

  • In some recent cases, elderly have been thrown out or mistreated once they transferred their properties and other assets.

  • In some recent cases where husbands were subjected to gruesome cruelty and were separated, there were divorce and other cases going on and upon the untimely and sudden death of the husband, wife claimed all the property while parents got nothing.

  • There have been some extreme cases of murders (shown as natural death/accident) by spouses or family members.

  • There have been murders within members of agnates and cognates in absence of a will.

It's not that you make the will once then u can't change it ever, in fact u can change, amend the will anytime during your lifetime.

'Will' may or may not be registered but should be signed by two independent witnesses.

Just take a stamp paper, write or get your will typed, sign it in front to two witnesses along with a person appointed as the convener, get it notarized and the job is done.

It's not as complicated as we believe it to be.

Via Amit Lakhani on Facebook


When a person dies without leaving a will, then The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 applies for division of wealth. This law applies to Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs.

Joint ownership, nomination, will How easily you get the financial asset depends on joint ownership, nomination and will. Let’s understand it.

Joint ownership Investment can be made by an individual in his own name, single account or by two or more individuals jointly, called joint account. There are different types of joint account relationships such as joint, either or survivor, anyone or survivor, former or survivor, latter or survivor.

Nomination Nomination is the process of appointing a person to take care of your assets in the event of your death. For all investments except shares, nomination does not provide ownership of your assets. The nominee will only be the custodian of the asset till it is given to its beneficiary. Though a nominee is an important person, he or she has no rights over the money or assets unless that is specified under the will or the nominee happens to inherit the money.

Will A will is an official statement prepared by a person that describes how he or she wants their assets to be divided among their heirs after their death. Preparing a clear will ensures that the heirs are left in no doubt about their inheritance. It is governed by Indian Succession Act and the capacity to dispose of is governed of by respective personal laws.

In case of extreme exigency such as when a person in the airforce, etc., is engaged in war activities, a privileged will, i.e., oral will is also permissible. Will can be modified by a codicil or even cancelled. Two attesting witnesses are required. Will has to be proved before a court and this is called probate. If there is no will then Letter of Succession has to be obtained. Through will, tax planning can be made for future. Nomination merely entitles a person to receive the property but does not extinguish the right of other heirs.

In respect of self-acquired property, will can be made even in favour of persons other than heirs. A properly written will (and registered) is the best way to make sure the wealth is passed on to different people as desired. So now coming back to the point, if a will is missing, then the wealth is divided as per The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 for Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. The succession is governed by complex laws of inheritance and religion as well as customs. The laws also differ for men and women.

Legal heirs under Hindu Succession Act Hindu succession law in case of death of a male: Legal heirs are well defined in the Hindu Succession Act. All the relations are categorised into two classes called class I and class II. The first right on wealth is of Class I heirs. Only if there is no one available in Class I, then relations under Class II can claim their rights. If Class I and Class II both are missing, then there is something called Agnates and Cognates.

Hindu succession law in case of death of a female: The property of a female Hindu dying without a will shall be distributed according to the rules set out as following: Firstly, upon the sons and daughters (including the children of any pre-deceased son or daughter) and the husband; secondly, upon the heirs of the husband; thirdly, upon the mother and the father; fourthly, upon the heirs of the father; and lastly, upon the heirs of the mother.

Source, here.


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