Hindu & Indian Succession Act

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Hindu & Indian Succession Act

Category : Estate Planning , Home


Hindu & In

dian Succession Act:

The Hindu Succession Act was first introduced or passed by the Parliament of India in 1956.This law was enacted to enforce the laws relating to ‘intestate’ or ‘unwilled’ succession amongst the Hindus.

  • This act was further amended in 2005 by the Hindu Succession(Amendment) Act ,2005.
  • This act primarily lays down uniform & comprehensive system of inheritance and applies to both “Mithakshara” school of thought and “Dayabhaga” school of thought.We will learn about these school of thoughts later on;
  • Hindu women’s Limited Estate has been abolished by this act.Any property possessed by a Hindu woman is to be held by her absolute property and she is given full power to deal with it and dispose it off by will as per her like;
  • This Act deals with succession to Hindu male and female separately;

Applies to whom?

  • This act is applicable for the following namely;
  • any person who is a Hindu by religion in any forms;
  • any person who is a Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh by religion;
  • any other person who is not a Muslim,Christian,Parsi,Jew by religion unless it is proved that the concerned person would not have been governed by Hindu Law.
Important points to know:

The property of a Hindu male dying ‘intestate’ or without a ‘will’ would first be given to his heirs of Class I,such as;-

  1.  Son;
  2. Daughter;
  3. Widow;
  4. Mother;
  5. Son of a predeceased son;
  6. Daughter of a predeceased son;
  7. Widow of a predeceased son;
  8. Son of a  predeceased daughter;
  9. Daughter of a predeceased daughter;

Class II heirs:

  1. Father;
  2. Son’s daughter’s son, son’s daughter’s daughter, brother, sister;
  3. Daughter’s son’s son, daughter’s son’s daughter, daughter’s daughter’s son,daughter’s daughter’s daughter;
  4. Brother’s son,sister’s son,brother’s daughter’ sister’s daughter,father’s father,father’s mother;
  5. Father’s widow,brother’s widow,father’s brother, father’s sister;
  6. Mother’s father, mother’ mother;
  7. Mother’s brother, mother’s sister;

Don’t get confused.Just try to understand by drawing a family tree of all possible family members.

  • Under the Hindu Succession Act,1956 women are granted ownership of all property acquired either before or after signing of the act;
  • The property of a Hindu female dying ‘intestate’ i.e. without will would be distributed in the following order:——–
  1. Son ,daughter and husband;
  2. Children of predeceased son or daughter;
  3. Heir’s of husband;
  4. Heir’s of father;
  5. Heir’s of mother;
  • The Indian Succession Act was enacted on 30.09.1925 with a view to consolidate all Indian Laws relating to succession;
  • It is also applicable to intestate succession in case of Parsis & Christians and testamentary succession;
  • The property shall be divided in such a number of equal shares as may correspond with the number of lineal descendents of the intestate who are nearest in degree to the intestate;

Let’s take some examples to understand in a very simple manner.

Situation -1:   Akash has three children. X,Y & Z.All of them have two children each.All children of Akash are dead.Now, Akash dies. How the property would be distributed?

Answer: All property of Akash would be distributed amongst 6 grandchildren equally.Each will get 1/6^th share.

Situation -2: Now, imagine Y has no child.What would happen then?

Answer: Now, all property of Akash would be distributed amongst 4 grandchildren equally.Each will get 1/4^th share.

Situation -3:Akash has three children. X,Y & Z. X died leaving 3 children.Y died leaving 1 child and Z is alive. Now, what would  happen after the death of their father Akash?

Answer:—  1/3^rd of the property would be given to Z, 1/3^rd of the property would be given to 3 children of X and remaining 1/3^rd share would get 1 child of Y.

Situation -4: Now, imagine all children of Akash i.e. X,Y & Z are not alive and has 8 grandchildren and 2 children of a deceased grandchild.How the intestate would be distributed now?

Answer:— The intestate property would be distributed at 1/9^th share equally amongst the 7 grandchildren and remaining 1/9^th share equally between two great grandchildren.

“Happy Reading”







August 6, 2017 at 1:28 pm

As per your tree chart both HSA and ISA applies to a Hindu/Sikh/Buddhist/Jain family….in this case doesn’t it created conflict of provisions?


    August 6, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Thanks for your query.
    Carefully read the following line.“The Indian Succession Act was enacted on 30.09.1925 with a view to consolidate all Indian Laws relating to succession.”
    HSA is also applicable to intestate succession in case of Parsis & Christians and testamentary succession but the rule for distribution of property is not applicable especially to Parsis under HSA.They will be governed by ISA only.


August 8, 2017 at 4:01 pm

Should the mother only be legal heir in case of male male Hindu dying intestate as per the Schedule falling in Class-I category?


    August 8, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Thanks SNEHADIP SINHA for your query.I think you are asking about the chronology of sharing of properties left behind of a male intestate.The answer is no.You have to have the chronology in place as mentioned in Class- I category.Mother will come after Son,Daughter and Widow.Mother will also get 1/4^th share like Son,Daughter and Widow if the male left behind 4 legal heirs as mentioned above.


August 9, 2017 at 11:24 am

What if the male intestate is unmarried and has no Son,Daughter and Widow?


    August 10, 2017 at 8:46 am

    The chronology will have to be followed and the mother will get shares in property 100% if no one is left in Class I heirs.

Swapnil Thakur

October 31, 2017 at 11:39 am

Very good article indeed.We hope you would come up with more such interesting topic.Thanks for rendering good article for our knowlwdge.

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