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Estate Planning for CFP – 2

Posted by Prashant Shah on October 22, 2012

Intestate Succession:

  • A person who dies without making a Will is known as intestate
  • A heir is a person entitled to inherit property after death of the intestate

Succession Acts:

  • For Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs the laws of inheritance have been codified in the Hindu Succession Act, 1956
  • For Christians the Indian Succession Act, 1925 will be applicable
  • Parsis and Muslims have a different law of inheritance
  • It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir
  • The law of intestate succession is concerned with matters as to who are the heirs, what are the rules of preference among the various relations, in what manner is the property distributed in case where there is more than one heir and so on.

Heirs of a Hindu Male:

  1. Class I heirs
  2. Class II heirs
  3. Agnates
  4. Cognates, and
  5. Government

General rules of succession in the case of males

  • (a) firstly, upon the heirs, being the relatives specified in class I of the Schedule;
  • (b) secondly, if there is no heir of class I, then upon the heirs, being the relatives specified in class II of the Schedule;
  • (c) thirdly, if there is no heir of any of the two classes, then upon the agnates of the deceased; and
  • (d) lastly, if there is no agnate, then upon the cognates of the deceased.

Distribution of property among heirs in class I of the Schedule

  • Rule 1-The intestate’s widow, or if there are more widows than one, all the widows together, shall take one share.
  • Rule 2-The surviving sons and daughters and the mother of the intestate shall each take one share.
  • Rule 3-The heirs in the branch of each pre-deceased son or each pre-deceased daughter of the intestate shall take between them one share.
  • Rule 4-The distribution of the share referred to in Rule 3:
    • (i) among the heirs in the branch of the pre-deceased son shall be so made that his widow (or widows together) and the surviving sons and daughters get equal portions; and the branch of his predeceased sons gets the same portion;
    • (ii) among the heirs in the branch of the pre-deceased daughter shall be so made that the surviving sons and daughters get equal portions.

Distribution of property among heirs in class II of the Schedule

The property of an intestate shall be divided between the heirs specified in any one entry in class II of the Schedule so that they share equally.

Agnates and Cognates:

Next heir of Hindu male is ‘Agnates and Cognates’. In it first preference is given to ‘Agnates’ & then ‘Cognates’. The rules for determining who are
agnates & cognates are the same; so are the rules relating to distribution of property among them.

Agnates mean when a person traces his relationship with another through males.

Cognates means whenever in the relationship of a person with another, a female (or more than one female).

List of Class I Heirs

  • i. Mother
  • ii. Widow
  • iii. Daughter
  • iv. Son
  • v. Widow of a predeceased son
  • vi. Son of a predeceased son
  • vii. Daughter of a predeceased son
  • viii. Widow of a predeceased son of a predeceased son
  • ix. Daughter of a predeceased son of a predeceased son
  • x. Son of a predeceased son of a predeceased son
  • xi. Daughter of a predeceased daughter,
  • xii. Son of a predeceased daughter.

New heirs are added by Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005.

  • i. Son of a predeceased daughter of a predeceased daughter
  • ii. Daughter of a predeceased daughter of a predeceased daughter
  • iii. Daughter of a predeceased son of a predeceased daughter
  • iv. Daughter of a predeceased daughter of a predeceased son

Class II Heirs

Category – I

  • Father

Category – II

  • (1)Son’s daughter’s son,
  • (2)Son’s daughter’s daughter,
  • (3) brother,
  • (4) sister.

Category – III

  • (1) Daughter’s son’s son,
  • (2) daughter’s son’s daughter,
  • (3) daughter’s daughter’s son,
  • (4) daughter’s daughter’s daughter.

Category -IV

  • (1) Brother’s son,
  • (2) sister’s son,
  • (3) brother’s daughter,
  • (4) sister’s daughter.

Category -V

  • Father’s father; father’s mother.

Category -VI

  • Father’s widow; brother’s widow.

Category -VII

  • Father’s brother; father’s sister.

Category -VIII

  • Mother’s father; mother’s mother

Category -IX

  • Mother’s brother; mother’s sister.

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