INHERITANCE UNDER HINDU SUCCESION ACT – 1956

INHERITANCE UNDER HINDU SUCCESION ACT – 1956

Succession in the Hindus is governed by the Hindu succession Act, 1956, which bases its rule of succession on the basic principle of propinquity, i.e., preference to heirs on the basis of proximity of relationship. Earlier females were excluded, however this rule of exclusion of females has been done away with.

The law of intestate succession is concerned with matters as to who are the Heirs, what are the rules of preference among the various relations, in what manner is the property distributed in case there is more than one heir and so on.

INTESTATE SUCCESSION

A person who dies without making a will is known as intestate. An heir is a person entitled to inherit property after the death of the intestate

The Hindu Succession Act applies to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Act applies to all Hindus, Buddhists, Jainas, Sikhs and to any other person who is not a Muslim Christian, Parsi or Jew.

SPECIAL MARRIAGE ACT

  • If a Hindu marries a non-Hindu under the Special Marriage Act, he shall be severed from the undivided family. However if two persons who are Hindus get married under the Special Marriage Act no such severance takes place.
  • If a Hindu marries a non-Hindu under the Special Marriage Act succession to the property of such person whose marriage is solemnized under this Act and to the property of the issue of such marriage shall be regulated by the provisions of the Indian Succession Act. However if two persons who are Hindus get married under the Special Marriage Act the above provision does not apply and they are governed by the Hindu Succession Act.

JOINT FAMILY PROPERTY

Under the Mitakshara School, the joint family property devolves by survivorship.

When a male Hindu dies after the commencement of this Act having at the time of his death an interest in a Mitakshara coparcenery property, his interest in the property shall devolve by survivorship upon the surviving members of the coparcenery and not in accordance with this Act.

However if the Mitakshara dies leaving behind a female relative or male relative claiming through Class I, this undivided interest will not devolve by survivorship but by succession as provided under the Act.

GENERAL RULES OF SUCCESSION – MALE HINDU

The property of the male Hindu dying intestate shall devolve in the following manner

  1. Firstly upon all the heirs, being the relatives specified in Class I;
  2. Secondly, if there is no heir of Class I, then upon heirs being the relatives specified in Class II;
  3. Thirdly if there is no heir of any of the the classes, then upon the agnates of the deceased; (one person is said to be agnate of another if the two are related by blood or adoption wholly through males) and;
  4. Lastly, if there is no agnate, then upon the cognates of the deceased. (One person is said to be a cognate of another if the two are related by blood or adoption but not wholly through male)

CLASS Ist HEIRS

Son

Daughter

Widow

Mother

Son of a predeceased son

Daughter of predeceased son

Widow of predeceased son

Son of a predeceased daughter

Daughter of predeceased daughter

Son of predeceased so of predeceased son

Daughter of predeceased son of a predeceased son

Widow of predeceased son of a predeceased son

CLASS IInd HEIRS

I. Father

II. (1) Son’s daughter’s son, (2) son’s daughter’s daughter, (3) brother, (4) sister

III. (1) Daughter’s son’s son, (2) daughter’s son’s daughter, (3) daughter’ daughter’s son, (4) daughter’s daughter’s daughter.

IV. (1) Brother’s son, (2) sister’s son, (3) brother’s daughter, (4) sister’s daughter.

V. Father’s father; father’s mother.

VI. Father’s widow; brother’s widow.

VII. Father’s brother; father’s sister.

VIII. Mother’s father; mother’s mother

IX. Mother’s brother; mother’s sister.

Class I heirs take simultaneously to the exclusion of all other heirs Heirs in the first entry of Class II shall be preferred to those in the second entry; those in the second entry shall be preferred to those in the third entry; and so on in succession.

GENERAL RULES OF SUCCESSION – FEMALE HINDUS

The property of a female Hindu dying intestate shall devolve:

  1. firstly, upon the sons and daughters (including the children of any predeceased son or daughter) and the husband;
  2. secondly upon the heirs of the husband;
  3. thirdly, upon the mother and father;
  4. fourthly, upon the heirs of the father; and;
  5. lastly, upon the heirs of the mother

However, if any property is inherited by a female Hindu from her father or Mother it shall devolve in the absence of any son of daughter of the deceased (including the children of any predeceased son or daughter) not upon the heirs referred to above but upon the heirs of the father; and any property inherited by a female Hindu from her Husband or from her father in law shall devolve, in the absence of any son or daughter of the deceased (including the children of any predeceased son or daughter) not upon their referred to above, but upon the heirs of the husband.

The aforesaid article is published for general purpose.  Please cross check and verify the latest amendments from the appropriate Government Department and Authorities. The authenticity must be cross checked with the appropriate laws .

2 thoughts on “INHERITANCE UNDER HINDU SUCCESION ACT – 1956

  1. I am widow from one year my family pension and gratuity amount issued on my name but my mother-in-law court case on department and me for 50% share in the all benefits of my husband. she had another two son whose govt h/c in Punjab police and she lived with their from four years my husband was lived with me separate from four years so i say that my mother-in-law not dependent on my husband but she is layer my father-in-law has valuable property in laces in this property some share is transferred on my another two brother -in-laws after my husband’s death. what is this they transfer his property on their another sons and snatched 50% share of my husband.
    pl suggest me what i do in this condition.

    1. Dear Mrs.Ashu,
      Our heartfelt sympathies.
      Legally speaking, your mother in law is the first class legal heir as per HSA and has right over the estate of her predeceased son. If the family lived togather and if there are properties which belongs to joint family, you can initiate partition proceedings, claiming your share in the common family property.
      You are advised to initiate appropriate proceedings to stop the transfer of properties standing in the name of your husband, please bring in an interim injunction. Contact an advocate immediately without delay and stop the transfer, even if the transfer had been done, need not worry, the law has solution and remedy for it.
      The court`s decree is legally valid regarding your mother in law`s share in her son`s estate.
      Take care,
      ecopackindia team

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