Indian Succession Act

This Act deals with distribution of property among legal heirs of the deceased person as per the will or testament. It includes Hindus, Budhists, Sikhs, Jainas, who have died after making their will. It covers all other persons as well who have died whether with or without making a will, however Muslims are largely governed by Muslims personal law.

A person, so long as he is alive is free to deal with his property in a way he likes. He is, by making a will, free to lay down his own scheme of distribution of his property after his death. This is known as testamentary disposition. The law of testamentary succession deals with the rules relating to passing of property on relations as well as others (as prescribed in the will).

The law of succession is classified as under :

Testamentary succession and intestate succession.

Testator : A person who dies leaving a valid will and testament.

Testament : Testament means will.

Testamentary : Pertaining to or concerning a last will and testament. A document which is testamentary (written in legal language) in character must be executed in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law or it will be given no effect.

Intestate : Person dying without will.