Thursday, May 28, 2009

Intestate Succession Act ; person dies without making a will

Intestate Succession
When a person dies without making a will, which is capable of taking effect. The property devolves upon the wife or husband or upon the relatives of the deceased in the following manner:

If 'A' has left no will - He has died intestate in respect of the whole of his property.
'A' has left a will, whereby he has appointed 'B' his executor but the will contains no other provisions-
'A' has died intestate in respect of the distribution of his property.
'A' has bequeathed his whole property for an illegal purpose- 'A' has died intestate in respect of the distribution of his property.

and lastly when a will is partially incapable of being operative.

'A' has bequeathed Rs. 1000 to 'B' and Rs. 1000 to the eldest son of 'C' and has made no other bequest and has died leaving the sum of Rs 2000 and no other property. 'C' died before 'A' without having ever had a son. 'A' has died intestate in respect of the distribution of Rs. 1000.

Distribution of property in case of widow/widower

  • Where the intestate has a widow-
If he has also left any lineal descendants, one third of his property shall belong to his widow, and the remaining two-thirds shall go to his lineal descendants, according to the rules hereinafter contained;

If he left no lineal descendant, but has left persons who are of kindred to him, one-half of his property shall belong to his widow, and the other half shall go to those who are kindred to him, in order and according to the rules hereinafter contained;

If he has left none who are kindred to him, the whole of his property shall belong to his widow.

Lineal descendants mean descendants born in lawful wedlock only.

  • Where intestate has left no widow, and where he has left no kindred-
where the intestate has left no widow, his property shall go to his lineal descendants or to those who are of kindred to him, not being lineal descendants, according to the rules hereinafter contained; and if he has left none who are of kindred to him, it shall go to the Government.

  • Rights of a Widower
A husband surviving his wife has the same rights in respect of her property, if she dies intestate, as a widow has in respect of her husband's property, if he dies intestate.

  • Rules of distribution - Children, Grandchildren Etc.
The rules of the distribution of the intestate property (after deducting the widows share) amongst his lineal descendants (descendants born in lawful wedlock only) are as follows:

  • Where intestate has left child or children only

Where the intestate has left surviving him a child or children, but no more remote lineal descendants through a deceased child, the property shall belong to his surviving child, if there is only one, or shall be equally divided among all his surviving children.

Child or children - The word 'Child' does not include an illegitimate child, but must be born out of lawful wedlock. The words 'any child' mean and include 'children' as well.

  • Where intestate has left no child, but grandchild or grandchildren
the property shall belong to his surviving grandchild if there is only one, or shall be equally divided among all his surviving grandchildren.

  • Where intestate has left only great- grandchildren or remote lineal descendants
In like manner, the property shall go to the surviving lineal descendants who are nearest in degree to the intestate, where they are all in the degree of great- grandchildren to him, or are all in a more remote degree.

  • Where intestate leaves lineal descendants not all in the same degree of kindred to him, and those through whom the more remote are descended are dead.
If the intestate has left lineal descendants who do not all stand in the same degree of kindred to him, and the persons through whom the more remote are descended from him are dead, the property shall be divided into such a number of equal share as may correspond with the number of the lineal descendants of the intestate who either stood in the nearest degree of kindred to him at his decease or having been of the like degree of kindred to him, died before him, leaving lineal descendants who survived him.

One of such shares shall be allotted to each of the lineal descendants who stood in the nearest degree of kindred to the intestate at his decease; and one such share shall be allotted in respect of each of such deceased lineal descendants; and the share allotted in respect of each of such deceased lineal descendants shall belong to his surviving child or children or more remote lineal descendants, as the case may be, such surviving child or children or more remote lineal descendants always taking the share which his or their parent or parents would have been entitled to respectively if such parent or parents had survived the intestate.

  • Where an intestate has left no lineal descendants, the rules of the distribution of his property (after deducting the widows share, if he has left a widow) are as follows-
If the intestate father is living. he shall succeed to the property.
If the intestate father is dead, but the intestate mother is living, and if any brother or sister and the child or children of any brother or sister who may have died in the intestate lifetime are also living, then the mother and each living brother or sister , shall be entitled to the property in equal shares, such children taking equal shares - only the shares which their respective parents would have taken if living at the intestate death.

If the intestates father is dead, but the intestates mother is living and the brothers and sisters are all dead, but all or any of them have left children who survived the intestate, the mother and the child or children of each deceased brother or sister shall be entitled to the property in equal shares, such children taking in equal shares- only the shares which their respective parents would have taken if living at the intestates death.

If the intestates father is dead, but the intestates mother is living and there is neither brother, nor sister, nor child of any brother or sister of the intestate, the property shall belong to the mother.

Where the intestate has left neither lineal descendants, nor father , nor mother, the property shall be divided equally between his brothers and sisters and the child or children of such of them as may have died before him, such children taking in equal shares, only the shares which their respective parents would have taken if living at the intestates death.

Where the intestate has left neither lineal descendants , nor parent, nor brother, nor sister, his property shall be divided equally among those of his relatives who are in the nearest degree of kindred to him.

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