Saturday, April 16, 2011

Legal Heirs

I have made an attempt to explore legal heirs status with respect to various act viz Transfer of Property Act, Employee Provident Fund Act, Income Tax Act, Wokmen Compensation Act, Motor vehicles Act, Insurance Act, Depositories Act , Companies Act and various other status. In this article series, i am going to highlight all the above acts as well as the status of legal heirs, how the legal heirs is different from nominees. For example Income taxAct, the following are the provisions.

Section 238 – IT Act:Person entitled to claim refund in certain special cases

As per Sub section (2) of Section 238 provides death, incapacity, insolvency, liquidation or other cause, a peson is unable to claim or receive any refund due to him, his legal representative or the trustee or guardian or receiver shall be entitled to claim or receive such refund for the benefit of such person or his estate.

Further Department circular No.22(LXXII-17) dated 8-8-1961 provides that when there is no dispute amongst the legal heirs, the refund due to estate of a deceased person should be paid to his son/widow or other legal heirs on their furnishing an indemnity bond,supported by the guarantee of one or two solvent sureties and without the production of succession certificates or letters of administration etc.

According to Webster Law dictiionary

1. a person who inherits or is legally entitled to inherit, through the natural action of the law, another's property or title upon the other's death

2. anyone who receives property of a deceased person either by will or by law

3. a person who appears to get some trait from, or carries on in the tradition of, a predecessor

If a person dies without writing a will , it is known as succession by “intestate”. The succession laws are different for different religions. The applicable laws of succession are as follows.

Without making a valid will ( Intestate)

Hindu Succession Act - For Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhists

Indian Succession Act - For Christian Paris, Jew

Muslim law - for Muslim

After making a valid will ( Testate)

Indian Succession Act - Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Paris, Jew

Muslim Law Muslim

The Hindu Succession Act applies where a Hindu male or female dies without making a will and leaves behind property.

The Hindu Succession Act provides property of an intestate Hindu male devolves on the following orders

The property of an intestate Hindu male devolves on the following heirs in the order specified below.

A) Class I heirs

B) Class II heirs

C) Agnates

D) Cognates

a) The devolvement of property upon Hindu male to class I heirs : Class I heirs are Son, daughter, widow, mother, son of a pre-deceased son, daughter of a pre-deceased son, son of a pre-deceased daughter, daughter of a pre deceased daughter, widow of a pre-deceased son, son of a predeceased son of a predeceased son, daughter of a pre-deceased son of a pre deceased son, widow of a pre-deceased son of a pre-deceased son.

b) The devolvement of property upon Hind male will lies to Class II heirs if there is no Class I heirs:

a) Father

b) Son’s daughte’s son, daughter’s son’s daughter daughter’s daugher’son, Daughter’s Daughter’s daughter

c) Brother’s son, Sister’s son, Brother’s daughter sister’s daughter

d) Father’s fathter, father’s mother

e) Father’s widow, brother’s widow

f) Father’s brother, father’s sister

g) Mother’s father, mother’s mother

h) Mother’s brother, mother’s sister

C) The devolvement of property upon Hindu male will lies to Agnates if there is no Class II heirs. Agnates is a relations whose chain of relationship to the propositus can be traced uninterruptedly through males. Example Brother’s son’s son, Father’s brother’s son’s son

D) The devolvement of property upon Hindu male will lies to Cognates if there is no Agnates. Cognates is a relations in whose chain of relationship to the propositus there is at least one female link.

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