The Indian Constitution provides its citizens with the right to property under Article 300a. It states that no person should be deprived of their property however it is not a fundamental right. The Hindu Succession Act, of 1956 brought changes in the Law of Succession among Hindus. The Succession Act is applied to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists. Inheritance is a passing of properties or transferring of properties, titles, debts, and rights to the legal heir after the death of the owner.
When inflation occurs in India, the prices of real estate get high, and then it becomes mandatory for the legal heir to safeguard their property before and after the passing of the legitimate owner. The Law of Succession is divided into two parts-
When the deceased has left behind the valid ‘WILL’.
When the person died without leaving behind a legit ‘WILL’.
Requirements of Valid Will
Will is a document that is written when showing the willful wish of the deceased person about his/her distribution of the estate. If the legal will is found to be valid then the property of the deceased is distributed in accordance with the same.
If a person wants to enter an agreement then he or she has the liberty to do so. In the case of minors or a person under the effect of intoxication or other influences like fraud, illness, coercion a person cannot make a Will if such mentioned state continues.
So, a person who is competent with a sound mind and age above 18 years has the right to create a will.
Format of governing Wills
The Indian Succession Act 1925 has not prescribed any particular format or rules. The mandatory requirements are-
It should be written in a manner in which the intention of the writer (also known as the testator) should be clear.
Small errors in the form of the name or details of the property should be ignored.
The document should be attested by the Testator along with two witnesses.
In the case of a person who cannot sign (illiterate or due to illness), they can use their thumb impression.
The signature should be marked at the end to show its effect on whatever information is mentioned above.
Witnesses should not be beneficiaries under the Will and should lie under the independent persons.
Dispositions made in their wife’s favour should be void and Will need not be prepared on stamp paper.
Significant changes under Hindu Succession Act
The Hindu Succession Act was amended in 2005 for the addition and deletion of certain clauses within the earlier Act. The major changes are discussed below-
Section 4(2) Amendment
This section under Hindu Succession Act never used to include agricultural lands. However, the Act was revoked in 2005 by adding the right to claim inheritance over agricultural lands. The act ensured that equality should prevail between men and women.
Revamping of Section 6
Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act stated that women stand equal opportunity to inherit property rights if and only if it was named for them by their relatives or strangers. In both cases, the ownership gets retained by the relatives. By the revamping of Section 6 new clauses were added in reference to making females enjoy equal rights as their brothers, husband, or other male members of the family.
Omission of Section 3
Under the Hindu Succession Act, Section 3 used to not grant women the right to seek partition within the home until and unless the male member wanted so. As a result, it once reduced the rights of the female, leading to hindering their privacy. Due to this reason, the amendment omitted Section 3 of the Hindu Succession Act.
Who is the legal heir of the mother’s property in India?
In case the mother dies then the married daughter inherits the share equally with the son according to the 1956 Act. After the death of the mother, the share of her ancestral property shall be self-acquired by the daughter.