TESTAMENTARY


The Indian Succession Act, 1925 can be broadly be divided into two categories, testamentary succession and intestate succession. Testamentary succession is applicable when a written Will has been created. Intestate succession is applicable when a Will has not been created and the properties of the deceased person are to be distributed as per the applicable laws based on religion. In this article, we look at the applicability of Indian Succession Act for persons of various religion.

Succession for Hindus

Laws relating to testamentary succession as per the Indian Succession Act, 1925 is applicable for Hindus. Intestate succession is applicable to Hindus as per the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. Intestate succession for Hindus is not as per the Indian Succession Act as one of the important feature of Hindu law is the system of Hindu Undivided Family (HUF). Hence, the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 was enacted to deal with the succession for Hindus as per Hindu law and culture.

Succession for Christians

Laws relating to both testamentary succession and intestate succession is as per the Indian Succession Act, 1925 for Christians.

Succession for Muslims

The Indian Succession Act, 1925 does not apply in both testamentary or intestate succession of Muslims. For Muslims, succession is based on the Quran and other sources. The leading authority on the subject of Wills for Muslims is the Hedaya or FatawaAlamgiri. Under Muslim law, the estate of the deceased must be applied successively in payment of the following, in the order below:

  • Funeral expenses and deathbed charges
  • Expenses of obtaining probate or letters of administration or succession certificate
  • Wages due for services rendered to the deceased within three months just preceding his/her death by any labourer, artisan or domestic servant
  • Other debts of the deceased according to the respective priorities (if any)
  • Legacies not exceeding one-third of what remains after all the above payments
  • Remaining two third should go to heirs as on intestacy.

Succession for Jains

Hindus have been given a wider meaning under the Indian Succession Act to include Jains. Hence, laws relating to testamentary succession as per the Indian Succession Act, 1925 is applicable for Jains also. Intestate succession is applicable to Jains as per the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.

Succession for Buddhists

Buddhists have been given a wider meaning under the Indian Succession Act to include Buddhists also. Hence, laws relating to testamentary succession as per the Indian Succession Act, 1925 is applicable for Buddhists also. Intestate succession is applicable to Buddhists as per the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.

Succession for Sikhs

Sikhs have been given a wider meaning under the Indian Succession Act to include Sikhs also. Hence, laws relating to testamentary succession as per the Indian Succession Act, 1925 is applicable for Sikhs also. Intestate succession is applicable to Sikhs as per the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.

Succession

Heirship

Letters of Administration

Probates

Codicils

Wills

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