Saturday, 21 February 2015

Inheritance of Property

 Inheritance of Property

What are the categories of heirs among Christians for inheritance property ?

Indian Succession Act 1925 deals with the inheritance to intestate property among Christians. Sections 33 to 49 are relevant sections.
The heirs are of two types. (1) Relatives by blood (2) Relatives by marriage. The brother would fall in the first category, whereas wife will fall under the second category.

What is meant by consanguinity, kindred and lineal descendant?

Consanguinity means members of the same family, the relatives who are related by blood to the person, which may be lineal or lateral. Kindred means and includes all those who are related by blood through lawful wedlock.
Lineal descendants means the descendants in direct line comprising of sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters through them would be all lineal descendants subject to legitimacy.

How the property of  Intestate devolve?

The property of a person who dies without making a will (Intestate) devolves upon the spouse, that is husband or wife or those of kindred of the deceased in the order and according to the rules.

What is the position of widow in case of intestate property?

In case the deceased intestate has left widow and lineal descendants, one third of the property will go to the widow and remaining two thirds to the lineal descendants. In case of only widow with kindred but with no lineal descendants the widow will get 50% of the share in the property and the remaining 50% will go to the kindred. In case of absence any kindred or lineal descendants, the widow is entitled to full share in the property.

In case the deceased intestate has left no widow and no kindred, who will inherit the property?

Generally, the property will be inherited by widow, lineal descendants or those kindred to the deceased. In the absence of any of these heirs, the property will go to the government.

What is the right of widower to the property of his wife dying intestate?

The right of the widower to the property of his wife who dies intestate is similar to that of a widow to the property of her husband dying intestate.

A Christian dying intestate has left no children but has left grandchildren who are the children of his deceased sons. Please advice how the property is devolved?

All the grand children share the property of their grandfather equally. We shall examine an example Mr. Stephen had two sons, Robert & Noble. Mr. Robert has one son & Mr. Noble has two sons. Both Robert & Noble died before their father Stephen. Mr. Stephen died intestate, leaving behind three grandsons. In this case each grand children will get equal share.

A Christian dies intestate leaving lineal descendents, but all of them are not of same degree of relationship. What is the procedure for devolution of property?

To make the issue very clear we shall look into an example. Mr. Stephen has two sons, Robert & Noble.
Robert dies before his father leaving behind two sons. Mr. Stephen dies leaving behind his one son Mr. Noble and two grandsons (children of Mr. Robert) Mr. Noble the only surviving son of Mr. Stephen will get 50% of the property and remaining 50% will shared equally between two grandsons.

Who is a Minor?

Minor is a person who has not completed the age of eighteen years. So a minor attains majority on completion of eighteen years of age and not on reaching the eighteenth year of age.
Previously, the minors for whom guardians were appointed by the court, the prescribed age for attaining majority was after the completion of twenty one years of age. This has been amended and all minors attain majority on completion of eighteen years of age.

What is the position of the mother, if the father appoints a guardian to minor person, property, by will?

Father may appoint a guardian by Will to the person and property of his minor child. However such appointment of a guardian by Will does not have any effect if the father dies leaving behind his wife (mother of the minor child) who is the natural guardian of the minor child. The mother, (natural guardian) will succeed as guardian and not the person appointed by Will of the father. She may appoint a different guardian by her Will; who will succeed as guardian, on the death of the mother. In case, she does not appoint any guardian, by Will, the guardian appointed by the father by Will, will succeed as guardian of minor on the death of the mother. The guardian will act only until the minor completes eighteen years of age.

Can a guardian be appointed to the minor’s undivided interest in joint family property?

The Kartha is head of the Hindu joint family who is empowered to manage the property. In such cases no guardian shall be appointed. The Kartha takes care of the person and the property of the minor who is the co-parcener. However the competent court may appoint a guardian for undivided share of the minor in the joint family property also.

Who is the natural guardian of an adopted son?
The adoptive father, and after the adoptive father, the adoptive mother would be the natural guardians of an adopted minor son. The original parents of the son given in adoption will not be natural guardians.
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