Inheritance under Hindu Succession Act – Who can/Who cannot?

Inheritance under Hindu Succession Act – Who can Who cannot

Inheritance issues can threaten to create divides that are unimaginable and unmanageable! We frequently have clients coming to us with these problems, and we endeavour to get fair deals for all involved.

The Hindi Succession Act, 1956 has been enacted to evolve a uniform system of property inheritance. The Act applies to intestate succession. The Act has been amended to keep pace with changing social requirements.

There is a list of heirs provided in the Schedule of the Act. These heirs are entitled to intestate succession. The Act applies to all those who are Hindu as per the definition is given in the Act. It does not apply to those who are Muslim, Christian, Parsi and Jew by religion.

All the heirs who are entitled to inherit under the Act have a right to succeed intestate succession. Many people come to us for queries in property inheritance. Some of the frequently asked questions are:

1. What does intestate mean?

Intestate means a person who has not made any will of his property. Even if a will has been made, but it is not capable of taking effect, it is equivalent to a person dying intestate.

2. Who is an heir?

As defined in the Act, an heir is any person, male or female who is entitled to succeed to the property of an interstate.

3. What is the order of succession, if any?

Under the Hindu Succession Act, inheritance of property takes place as follows:

A. In case of a male dying intestate, the order of succession is:

  • Class I heirs
  • Class II heirs ( if no heir in Class I)
  • Agnates (if no heir in Class I and Class II)
  • Cognates (If no heir in Class I, Class II and Agnates)

B. In case of a female dying intestate, the order of succession is:      

  • Sons and daughters (if predeceased, their children) and husband
  • Heirs of husband
  • Mother and father
  • Heirs of father
  • Heirs of mother

4. Is there any disqualification, in property inheritance under Hindu Succession Act?

Yes, there are certain disqualifications provided in the act which bars a legal heir from inheriting the property. These are:

  • Murderer: A person who commits murder or abets the commission of murder is disqualified from inheriting the property of:
  1. The person murdered
  2. Any other property to which he becomes entitled to succeed as a result of murder

For the disqualification, Commission of Murder and Abetment (assisting) of murder stand on the same footing.

  • Conversion: A Hindu, who converts to another religion, he is not disqualified. His children who are born after his conversion and their descendants are disqualified. The rule applies only if they are converts when the succession opens.

Any disease, defect or deformity in the person is not a disqualification. It will not disentitle him for property inheritance under the Hindu Succession Act.

5. Can a widow inherit after remarriage?

Yes, widow remarriage is no bar under the Act, to inherit her deceased husband’s property.

6. Can a stepson inherit under the Act?

No, the expression “son” in Hindu Succession Act does not include stepson. It includes an adopted son.

All legal heirs as described in the Schedule of the Hindu Succession Act are entitled to inherit. There is a specific mention of disqualifications in the Act. These disqualifications will disentitle an heir for property inheritance.

Demonetisation Do’s and Don’ts: Govt Announces Operational Measures


After about fifteen days of the Demonetisation process, the Government finally announced some measures on an operational level so that there is clarity about the usage of the old versus new notes – as also the exchange of the notes. Significantly, the following are noteworthy points:

  • There will be no over the counter exchange of the old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 now, post midnight November 24, 2016.
  • From November 25, you can only deposit the old notes in their accounts and then withdraw new currency through ATMs or cheques at banks.
  • The government intends encouraging people who currently do not have accounts to open them and deposit the abolished notes.
  • There will still be a limit of Rs 24000 per week withdrawal per bank account
  • ATMs can be used to draw up to Rs. 2,500 a day per card.
  • The RBI has doubled the limit on digital transactions through e-wallets like Paytm to Rs. 20,000 per month.
  • Meanwhile, in Nepal people are already having problems exchanging Indian currency old notes. Now, the government has declared that the new Indian notes stand banned in the country
  • The government of Nepal will wait for a declaration by the RBI under the FEMA Act. This move has been introduced because Nepal claims its incompetence to judge about counterfeit currency
  • Certain exemptions granted for a further period till December 16, 2016, with the following guidelines:
  • All payments to be acceptable for the exempted categories only in old Rs 500 notes
  • Payments of up to Rs 2000 can be done per student in all Central Government, State Government, Municipality and local body schools too
  • Payment of fees in Central and State colleges
  • Pre Paid mobiles can be paid up to a limit of Rs 500 per top up
  • While one can buy goods from Consumer Cooperative Stores, the limit would be Rs 5000 at a time only
  • In Utilities, only water and electricity are allowed to be paid with these notes
  • The toll free arrangements on roads were extended till December 2, 2016. For the next ten days or so till December 15, old notes can be used to make payments
  • For Foreign citizens, the rule is that they will be permitted to exchange foreign currency up to Rs 5000 per week. However, now entries will be made in their passports. The RBI proposes to issue further guidelines regarding this.

Notifications and updates are coming in daily. While we are trying our best to bring you the most accurate and updated Information on this subject it is a possibility that by the time we relay the information it might have been changed. Please verify from the official site of RBI before taking any action (