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Application of Inheritance Laws in India

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Application of Inheritance Laws in India 

No uniform codified inheritance laws apply in India. The Constitution of India provides freedom of conscience (i.e., religious faith as a fundamental right). Family law has always been a part of religious law. This means that no uniform code for civil law exists in India, even though it has been put into the Directive Principles of State Policy of the Constitution of India. Since laws of marriage and succession are the most intricate amongst the religious laws, inheritance issues in India are very complicated.           

The main laws pertaining to issues related to succession and inheritance by foreigners in India are: The Foreigners’ Act (provision for the government to make orders restricting or prohibiting rights of a foreign citizen) and The Foreign Exchange and Management Act (Acquisition and Transfer of Immovable Property in India).

Only Muslim inheritance laws have a reserved portion in India.

Except for the Muslim laws of inheritance, which require at least 2/3 of the deceased’s property to be inherited by the line of succession and allow up to 1/3 to be settled by testamentary succession, India’s other inheritance laws do not have any reserved portion, i.e. the entire property may be subject to testamentary succession or intestate succession if there is no will.

Orders of intestate succession:

The following is an outline of the orders of succession and the shares of inheritance for heirs in different groups in India:

If the deceased is a Hindu male (including Buddhists, Sikh, Jain, and all those who are not Christian, Muslim or Parsi):

Class I heirs of a male Hindu who shall simultaneously inherit are:

•              Mother being alive (1 share)

•              Widow (1 share)

•              Living sons (1 share each)

•              Living daughters (1 share each)

•              Predeceased son having the following relations (1 share)

•              widow

•              sons

•              daughters – each to be equally divided.

If a predeceased son of this predeceased son leaves a widow, the living sons and living daughters each shall equally share the share of the predeceased son of the predeceased son who has one share with living sons and daughters. Predeceased daughter (1 share) to be equally shared by sons and daughters of the predeceased daughter.

In case there is none in the class I schedule, the property shall go to the class II based order. The earlier order is preferred over the later, (i.e. if an earlier order is present, the later orders would not inherit) in orders :

•              Father (whole in the absence of anybody in class I)

•              Son’s daughter’s son; son’s daughter’s daughter, Brother, Sister ( all in equal proportion)

•              Daughter’s son’s son, daughter’s son’s daughter, daughter’s daughter’s son,                daughter’s daughter’s daughter (equally)

•              Brother’s son, brother’s daughter, sister’s son and sister’s daughter

•              Father’s father, Father’s mother (equally)

•              Father’s widow, brother’s widow

•              Father’s brother, Father’s sister

•              Mother’s father, mother’s mother

•              Mother’s brother, mother’s sister

If the deceased is a female Hindu dying intestate:

A: Sons (1 share each), Daughters (1 share each), husband (1 share), son and daughter of predeceased son (equally together 1 share), son and daughter of predeceased daughter (equally together I share).

B: Heirs of Husband Entry

C: Father and Mother Entry

D: Father’ shier

E: Heir’s of the mother

If the deceased is a Muslim:

Muslim communities in India predominantly follow Hanafi law, but in some locations follow Shia law. The share of each heir must be ascertained based on individual cases.

If the deceased is a Christian or married under the Special Marriage Act (for inter-religious marriage):

Where lineal descendant is present:

Widow / widower – 1/3 of the property

Lineal descendants – equally to share 2/3.

In the absence of lineal descendant, to all grand children, - equally

In the absence of grandchildren, to great grant children – equally

Lineal descendant of a predeceased child or lineal descendant of a predeceased child of a predeceased child if present - division is based on equal shares, taking the predeceased child to be alive, and a downward distribution amongst the lineal descendants.

With no lineal descendant:

Widow /widower – 1/3

Father – balance entire

If Father is dead, to mother, to mother, sisters and brothers- equally

If father is dead, to mother, living sisters and brothers, and children of a predeceased sister or brother- equally so that one share to be taken for the predeceased sister or brother to pass through the lineal descendant to such predeceased.

If the deceased is a Parsi:

Widow / Widower

Children (equally)

Living parents-each to get a share equal to half of a child

Wife and children of a predeceased son to share the share of the child as if the son died after the death of the deceased. If the child predeceased is a daughter, her share would be equally distributed to her children.

Comments
 satya pal November 18, 2010
my father died with out writing a will.my youngest brother also died.her widow is living i a house built by me on fathers land.now deceased brother wants the third share in the property.my brother never built any property.wife and husband were govt.employee.now deceased brother wife still in govt service.i built the property in which they are living.i do not object even now they continue to live.my younger brother(alive) and deceased brother and her only daughter has signed papers in court in my name.now widow of my deceased wants that i should gift her the house which she never built.kindly tell me what are the legal rights of my brother's widow.i again the house in which they ARE LIVING WAS NEVER BUILT BY MY DECEASED BROTHER.HE WAS GETTNG ONLY RS 800/PM AS SALARY IN 1980,SO HE COULD NOT DREAM OF A HOUSE.SO I HELPED HIM.NOW HIS WIDOW AND DAUGHTER INSISTING THAT THIS PORTION THEY ARE LIVING SHALL BE GIFTED TO THEM.THEY HAVE THE INTENTION TO SELL,BECAUSE IT WILL FETCH RS 50 LACS IN MARKET.PL ADVISE THE LEGAL POSITION IN THIS REGARD
REGARDS
SATYA PAL
R March 1, 2011
what if a muslim woman marries a non-muslim man, can she inherit her father's property?
 Ubaidulla March 25, 2011
very good
 a joseph innocent justin July 26, 2011
our family is a roman catholic family. my sisters husband was died on 10.10.09 without any will. i sister is having two minor children. now her mother in law is claiming share in my sisters husbands property. kindly guide us in this matter as per indian succession act or inheritance act
 Mohan Birla September 16, 2011
One of my client's mother died leaving physical shares of a particular company without selecting nominees. The husband of client's mother has expired. The client are 2 brothers. How can they claim the ownership of the left shares by their mother.
Sam Ahaja October 30, 2011
My wife has a sister and 2 brothers. Her father died sometime back leaving a will where a residential plot of land has been willed to her mother. Now the mother wants to give everything to only one son who is her favourite. Can my wife put a caveat on this land so it can not be sold unless all children get equal share?
 SHAHEENA SAADAN December 29, 2011
We are Muslims and governed by Muslim Succession Law. We are four sisters and one brother. Our father expired in October 1998 and mother expired in March 2007. Our father left behind one residential complex, one commercial complex, substantial cash balance, shares and other household items utensils etc. Our late mother left behind gold ornaments worth around 25 tolas. Rental income from commercial complex is around Rs.5.00 lac per annum and for this purpose one partnership firm was formed with our father, three of our sisters and, brother as partners.
After the death of our father entire rental income was usurped by our brother in conspiracy with one of our sister who was the partner in the firm, and not accounted the same. Nor he has shown balance sheet of the firm. We are not sure whether he has unilaterally deleted our name as partner in the firm. He has also grabbed entire furniture utensils and gold ornaments of our late mother in conspiracy with this sister. Now we are demanding our shares in rental income cash balance left behind by our late father and 1/6 shares each in both residential and commercial complex. Our brother refused to meet our demands as legal heirs and resenting even our visits to our parental house.
What are our shares as legal heir? Can we approach court of law to enforce our inheritance rights and file criminal case including FIR in police station for misappropriation of cash and rental income since the death of our father.
 Nelson January 12, 2012
My father expired in 2003 he left some money,gold and 2 houses in mumbai as im workig in gulf my 2 elder sister are operating is account we are all togather 3 brothers and 3sisters and my mother .my father made no will in this case if i only want 2 houses for my security in future what should i do as my mother is occuping one room and one room my wife and son is staying .As i dont feel secured with my sisters what should i do with this 2 houses.I am roman catholic
Addriene January 21, 2012
All of these airtlecs have saved me a lot of headaches.
Addriene January 21, 2012
All of these airtlecs have saved me a lot of headaches.
Spike January 24, 2012
I'm not easily impressed. . . but that's imprsesing me! :)
Niraj March 17, 2012
Is there any protection from intentional disinheritance from property by parents for a adult child. I hear civil laws do that ie laws eg in France. Is such a thing in India ? Are civil laws being introduced in India?
 kaushalya March 25, 2012
I am an american citizen. I came to U.S right after marriage at the age of 21. My father passed away in 2011. We are three brothers and our mother is still living. My father helped two of my brothers to buy a house. My brothers don't show me my father's will and tell me that my father didn't leave me anything. May be so but I want to see the will he signed. How would I go about getting a copy of my father's will?
P.K.Jagadeesan May 30, 2012
My father died in 2004. Iam his first First wife's son now aged 57yrs.My father remarried and got two sons.I got along with my father and earned.At my age of 15 and 16 only my brothers have born.Now both of our parents no more. I want to know the method of dividing whether on the basis of mothers(50% for me and the balance50% for my 2 step brothers ) or equelly among us.The properties are intestate.
 Niraj May 23, 2012
Sorry if I am sounding a little persistant but would like a reply on
my query Are civil laws being introduced in India? which protect biological sons and daughters from intentional disinheritance from parental property ?
luiza rodrigues May 29, 2012
my sister and i have land and houses in mumbai. i want to sell the properies now since i have no children bu my sister refuses to sell as she has a daughter and is hoping after my death and hers all the propety will go to her daughter, how can i sell my share of the property. please advise
S.Banerjee July 2, 2012

Sir,
My mother inlaw wants to gift her house to my wife and at same time she wants to disinherit her son.Pl. advise
Thanks
adwaita Datta July 29, 2012
We are two brothers.My father executed a deed of gift of all his inherited property to my mother.Can my mother execute a deed in favor of one and disinherit another/
D Das July 29, 2012
With an intention to disinherit the step son my father made a deed of gift of all his inherited property in favor of my mother, who was married 2nd time after the death of first wife.Is the step son legal heir of the fathers inherited property?
 raghuram August 26, 2012
My father in law purchased a residential plot and built a house where he lived till his death five years ago, without a will. His survivors are - his widow, two sons and two daughters. All his children gave in writing that they had no objection to the khata being transferred to their widowed mother and accordingly the khata is in her name and she has been paying the property tax. Does it make her the sole owner of the property? Can she dispose off the property of her free will? Do her children have any right over the property?
Manoj Rawat September 9, 2012
I am living in Chandigarh. My father is no more. We are three brothers. My father died without any Will. Now we all want to transfer our home on the name of my mother which was on the of my father but he died and there is Will for the Home. So request you Please tell me the complete procedure that How can we(three brothers) can transfer this home to on the name of our mother
vencimal November 6, 2012
my father has tenants in his self made property.i have no interest in his property.Can tenants harras me or do I HAVE ANY OBLIgATION towards that property in case father dies.?
Ali Khan November 17, 2012
m looking after a case of my close relative.. they are 2 sisters.. their mother was gifted with a property from her father in law..after few years she was murderedby her own husband and the father of the two girls.. for which he was imprisoned n got relief from the supreme court.. so i want to know does their father hold any right in the property now, as he has married some other female and also does not look after the girls too...
munaighosh December 14, 2012
My husband died few months ago leaving behind me and my minor daughter. He and myself belongs to the Hindu community,but got married under special marriage act. My husband had no relation with his mother, brothers and sisters who are well established and earn a lot and stay at their parental house.His father died long before. My husband bought a house by bank loan.I paid part of that money after his death. Is his mother being a house owner and pensioner can claim the share of the house purchased in my husband's name? If so can she pass the right of this house to her sons and daughters? After her death what will be the fate of her share in my husband's house? Please give a clear view and help a minor girl child and a helpless unemployed widow.
Bhavesh January 6, 2013
Dear Sir
My father had purchased a tenanted property at fort, south mumbai in the name of my grandmother . he has been paying the rent and working from there since 30 years. After my grandmother's demise he wanted to make property in his name which is not happening as the landlord is saying there are may complications and demanding money .This is happening since 12 years . Need to know what to do as my father is also not keeping to well .
vishushrivastava January 11, 2013
hello
razaq January 12, 2013
Dear Sir,

My Grand Father was died long ago without writing any will and my Grand Mother was also died. My Grand Father have two children one is my father and my aunty. Now both my father & aunty ready to transfer their inheritance of property in my name & my brothers name. Please guide us how to make transfer deed as per Islamic Law. I am very much grateful and thankful to you for your valuable guidance. Thanking you.,
T behera March 1, 2013
My mother's father died 20 years back. But after his death her mother took a stepson(legaly) without my mother's knowledge. But stepson not leaving with my mother's mother from 10-15 years. My mother's mother leaving with us from that time. So how my mother claim her share?..
02dipak das April 22, 2013
A muslim Husband from Coochbehar, West Bengal, India, died in the year 2000 leaving behind one wife and some landed poperty(1.30 acre) and has no issue. His father and mother died earlier and has three brother ( two of whom are in india whereas the third shifted to Bangladesh) and has no sisters.
1) what will be the division of the landed poperty under Islamic Law?
2) will the brother who lives in Bangladesh is entitled to be the owner of any portion under Islamic Law?
Hari May 2, 2013
My father become partner in firm after dissolution of original firm. I was partner at the time of dissolution of firm. Later my father passed away without will. My brothers do not give my share of original partnership and my fathers share. Also would like to know how many years of statue of limitation applies in this case.
WAHEEDZIDDI November 9, 2013
A SUNNI MUSLIM WOMAN DIES ISSUELESSAND SURVIVED BY NONE ELSE EXCEPT ONE YOUNGER FULL SISTER AND ONE NEPHEW AND TWO NIECES FROM THE REAL ELDER SISTER WHO DIED EARLIER.THE DECEASED HAS LEFT BEHIND SOME AGRIUCULTURAL FIELDS AND A SHARE IN IN ONE HOUSE.
HOW AND WHAT RATIO THE LEFT BEHIND PROPERTIES SHALL BE SHARED AS SHARERS UNDER THE MOHAMMADAN LAW/MUSZLIM VIDHI PLEASE?
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