Hindu Succession Law in India-Thelegalbank

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Law of succession:-

The law of succession determines the rules of devolution of property in case a person goes without making a Will. These rules present for a class of persons and percentage of the property that will devolve on each of such persons. A Will is a legal declaration. Certain rules must be complied with in order to make a valid Will. It must be signed and attested, as needed by law. A Will is intended to arrange of the property. There must be any property that is doing given to others after the death of the testator. A Will grows enforceable only after the death of the testator. It gives certainly no rights to the legatee (the person who receives) until the death of the testator. It has no impact when the life of the testator.

The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 is an Act of the Parliament of India passed to amend and codify the law relating to intestate or unwilled succession, among Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs. The Act lays down a uniform and complete system of inheritance and succession into one Act. The Hindu woman's limited estate is prohibited by the Act. Any property owned by a Hindu female is to be held by her entire property and she is given full power to deal with it and place it off by will as she likes. Portions of this Act was amended in 2005 by the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005.



  • Succession to the property of a Hindu Male:-


The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 deals with the estate to

a) The private properties of a Mitakshara male,

b) The private and coparceners properties of a Dayabhaga male, and

c) The particular interest in the joint family property of a Mitakshara Coparcener.


The Act does not refer to the property of a Hindu who is married under the Special Marriage Act to a Non -Hindu.


  • Heirs of a Hindu Male:-


The heirs of Hindu male fall under the following classes:-

1) Class, I heirs,

2) Class II heirs,

3) Agnates,

4) Cognates, and

5) Government.


  • Class I heirs:-
  1. Heirs are sons,
  2. Daughters,
  3. Widows,
  4. Mothers,
  5. Sons of a pre-deceased son,
  6. Widows of a pre-deceased son,
  7. Son of pre-deceased sons of a predeceased son,
  8. Widows of a pre-deceased son of a predeceased son.

If there is more than one widow, various bearing sons or multiples of any of the other heirs listed above, each shall be given one share of the deceased's property. Also if the widow of a pre-deceased son, the widow of a pre-deceased son of a pre-deceased son or the widow of a brother has re-married, she is not allowed to take the inheritance.


  • Class II heirs and their shares:-

If there are no successors in Class I, the property will be given to the heirs within Class II. They are classified into 9 categories. The rule is that an heir in an earlier category prohibits heirs in the latter category. Further all heirs in one category take together per capita share. They are as follows:


1] Category I -

a) Father.


2] Category II -

a) Son’s daughter’s son.

b) Son’s daughter’s daughter.

c) Brother.

d) Sister.


3] Category III -

a) Daughter’s son’s son.

b) Daughter’s son’s daughter.

c) Daughter’s daughter’s son.

d) Daughter’s daughter’s daughter.


4] Category IV -

a) Brother’s son.

b) Brother’s daughter.

c) Sister’s son.

d) Sister’s daughter.


5] Category V -

a) Father’s father.

b) Father’s mother.


6] Category VI -

a) Father’s widow. [Step mother].

b) Brother’s widow.


7] Category VII -

a) Father’s brother.

b) Father’s sister.


8] Category VIII -

a) Mother’s father.

b) Mother’s mother.


9] Category IX –

a) Mother’s brother.

b) Mother’s sister.


The rule of share in Class-II heirs is that every will take per capita involving widow.


  • Agnates and Cognates:-

The next heir of Hindu males is ‘Agnates and Cognates’. In it, the first decision is provided to ‘Agnates’ & then ‘Cognates’. The rules for deciding who are agnates & cognates are the same; so are the laws relating to the distribution of property amongst them.


Agnates mean when a person follows his relationship with another through males, he or she is an ‘Agnates’. For instance brother, brother’s son, son’s son, son’s son's father, father’s father, father’s mother, father’s father’s father & mother, son’s daughter, son’s son’s daughter, etc.


On the other hand, cognates mean whenever in the relationship of a person with another, a female (or more than one female) interverence everywhere in the line, one cognate to another. For case sister’s sons & daughters; daughter’s sons & daughters; mother’s mother & father; father’s mother’s father & mother; mother’s father’s son & daughter, etc.


  • Government:-

If a Hindu male leaves after neither class I, nor class II, nor any agnates, nor any cognates upon his death, then, his whole property lapses to the government. This is called as “Escheat”. When the government uses his property as heir, it takes with subject to all the duties and responsibilities of porosities.


  • Amendments

The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, amended Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, according to daughters of the late equal rights with sons. In the case of coparcenary property or a case in which two people acquire property equally between them, the daughter and son are subject to the same responsibilities and limitations. The amendment furthers equal rights between males and females legally.


  • *Required details in the petition for a succession certificate:-

The petition for the succession certification made to the district judge must be signed and validated by the applicant and cover all the following features:

  • The time of the death of the dead
  • The usual residence of the deceased at such time of death; and if such common residence is not possible, the details of the property that is within the jurisdiction of the district judge to whom such an application is created.
  • The family or other near relations of the person deceased and their own residences
  • The rights of the petitioner
  • The absence of any reason to cancel the grant of the certificate
  • The debts and protection in respect of which the application for such a certificate is made


  • *What is the procedure to get a succession certificate?

The legal procedure to get the succession certificate is stepping as below:

Step 1: The applicant will make a petition, check and sign the same and submit it to the district judge in the relevant jurisdiction after paying the relevant court fees.


Step 2: The district judge will inspect the application and if the same is admitted, he shall fix a day for the hearing in regard to the same and also send notification of the hearing to whomsoever he thinks right.


Step 3: After hearing all the parties involved, the judge will determine if the applicant is within his right to apply for the application and shall give the certificate to him if done.


Step 4: The district judge may also need the applicant to give a bond with one or more sureties or any other security so as to make good any potential loss arising out of the use or misuse of such a certificate


  • *The validity of the Certificate

The succession certificate reaches valid anywhere within India. However, where a certificate has been granted to a person who is a resident of a foreign country, by an Indian representative (as designated by the government), of such foreign country, the certificate will stand valid only if correctly stamped.


  • *Effect of the Certificate

The principal purpose of this certificate is to give protection to all parties paying debts where such payments are made in good faith. The certificate owner is also allowed to receive any interest/dividend on the securities and negotiate or transfer such securities as specified in the certificate. Thus all payments made to and by the certificate holder on behalf of the deceased person will be authorized valid. However, this does not essentially imply that the certificate owner is the owner of the securities or the legal heir. The legal heir/heirs are managed by a separate method of the law.






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