In Indian society, inheritance is not only a source of wealth for many, but also a sign of lineage. It’s critical to understand inheritance rules so that your rights are safeguarded. To avoid legal issues, family feuds, or any type of property fraud, all legal heirs of any property or asset should have a thorough understanding of India’s inheritance laws. All claimants must determine whether they are lawful heirs, whether a Will exists, and whether succession rules apply. In India, however, this occurs due to a lack of understanding of property inheritance laws.
When real estate values rise due to inflation, legal heirs must protect the property both before and after the death of the rightful owner. To achieve legal possession of their property, legal owners must go through legal procedures. The legal method and requirements for obtaining the property, however, may change due to the type of the property.
What is a Will?
A will is a statement or legal document that provides particular details such the name of one or more individuals who will acquire, administer, and profit from an owner’s estate after his or her death, as defined under the Indian Succession Act, 1925.
Probate is the process of obtaining a certified copy of a document. The copy is stamped with the seal of the court of law that granted the legatee/executor of the testator administration of the estate. As a result, a Probate serves as proof of the heir’s power over a property.
Wills do not have to be recorded
In most cases, Executors are named in the Will. Beneficiaries may also serve as Executors. If a gift is made to a person based on a specific description and no one matches the description at the time of the testator’s death, the bequest is void. However, there is an exemption in the event of lineal descendants, which means that if the legatee dies before the testator, the gift will transfer to the legatee’s lineal descendant and will not lapse. If an unmarried individual forms a Will and then marries, the Will is regarded revoked or cancelled.
The significance of an Heir
Every person who owns property must have a legal heir; they are the successors for property claims and insurance coverage.
The Hindu Succession Act of 1956/2005 is a law that governs the succession of Hindus. It applies to Hindus, as well as Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists, for succession without a will. The Indian Succession Act of 1925 is a law that governs the succession of Indians in the United It applies to Hindus who transfer property through a will. This statute allows anybody to lawfully transfer their property to another person by drafting a will.
What is Law of Inheritance or Succession Law?
Inheritance laws in India are also legally called Succession Laws. There are two situations to consider for inheritance:
- A Will/Testament
- Laws of Intestate Succession
The properties that fall under the Laws of inheritance are:
- Ancestral Property and
- Self-Acquired Property
Remember that inheritance laws in India are based on the rules of the faith followed by the holder of the property. Anybody who is entitled to receive shares of property, either through a Will or by succession acts, is a legal heir.
Inheritable Property types
A son and daughter have the claim to ancestral property through birth under the Hindu Succession Act. A father cannot dispose of such property without first consulting his lawful heirs. A father cannot transfer, sell, or give such property to a third party at his discretion. In other words, he cannot deny a daughter or a son their inheritance. Children have the right to inherit such property from the moment they are born. If a parent has transferred such property in the name of a third party in some cases, the children have the right to protest.
In the event of a parent or mother’s self-acquired property, their son or daughter has no birth claim to it. Unlike ancestral property, a father has the discretion to give or Will the property to whoever he wishes, and neither the daughter nor the son has the right to object. Children can only claim a part of the father’s ancestral property, not self-acquired property, according to Hindu law.
The following are the fundamental requirements:
- It should be worded in such a way that the writer’s (called Testator) objective is evident. Because the goal is to carry out the Testator’s wishes, minor flaws in the name or specifics of the property can be overlooked and the entire document studied to fully comprehend the genuine purpose.
- The Testator and two witnesses should sign it. Those who are unable to sign (due to illiteracy or sickness) might use their thumb impression. The signature should be at the bottom / end to demonstrate that it is there to give effect to whatever comes before / after it.
- Witnesses should be self-sufficient and not Will beneficiaries. Any dispositions in their / their wives’ favour would be null and invalid. His signature as a witness, on the other hand, would be sufficient.
- The Act makes no mention of any technical terms or formats. Wills don’t have to be written on stamp paper, though.
- It is not necessary to register a will.
- It is customary to name Executors in a Will. Beneficiaries and Executors are two different things.
- When a gift is made to a person based on a specific description and no one matches the description at the time of the testator’s death, the bequest is void. However, in the case of lineal descendants, if the legatee dies before the testator, the gift will transfer to the legatee’s lineal descendant and will not lapse.
- If an unmarried individual forms a Will and then marries, the Will is regarded to be revoked or cancelled.
India’s property inheritance law is extensive, as it encompasses a wide range of religions. Over time, it has been subjected to several revisions. Hindus, Muslims, and Christians all have various legal heirs, as well as varied systems of succession. Women’s property rights have been strengthened under Hindu law in the modern age as a result of the 2005 amendment legislation. The girl now has the same rights as a boy. This has improved a woman’s social status.