If I am a man, and my wife, children and parents survive me, who will inherit my properties? What will be their shares if I have not made a will?
Let us suppose at the time of my death, I have the following relatives: wife, two sons, two daughters, mother, father, two brothers and a sister.
If I am a Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh or Jain, my wife, each child (son or daughter), and my mother will have equal shares in my property. Thus their shares will be:
. Wife – 1/6, each son – 1/6, each daughter – 1/6, and mother – 1/6.
If I am a Christian, my wife will have 1/3rd share, and the remaining will be equally divided among my children. Thus their shares will be:
. Wife – 1/3, each son – 1/6, each daughter 1/6.
If I am a Parsi, my wife and children will take one share each, and my parents will take half share each. Thus, their shares will be:
. Wife – 1/6, each son – 1/6, each daughter – 1/6, mother – 1/12, father 1/12.
If I am a Sunni Muslim, these relatives fall into two categories: sharers and residuaries. Sharers get a definite share, but their share depends on who are the other relatives. Thus, the father is a sharer, if the person dying has children; if he has no childre, the father gets as a residuary. After shares are allotted to sharers, the shares of residuaries will be calculated. Some female relatives get half the share of their male counterparts. Thus the shares of my relatives will be:
. Wife – 1/8, each son – 13/72, each daughter 13/144, mother – 1/6, father – 1/6.
The rules of succession that apply to Shia Muslims are somewhat different. I have not discussed them here.
Their shares will be as follows:
If my child has died before me, but the child’s wife or husband and children are alive after me, they will inherit according to the broad rules as follows:
If I am a Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh or Jain, or a Parsi, and my predeceased child (that is a child who died before me) has spouse and children, the share that would get allotted to that child if alive will go as follows:
– equally to the wife and children of my predeceased son,
– equally to the children of my predeceased daughter.
If I am a Christian, and one of my child is predeceased, the share that would get allotted to that child will go equally to his children.
If I am a Sunni Muslim, the share that children of predeceased children will inherit is complex for discussion in this short post. But if I have one surviving son, the wife and children of a predeceased son do not get any share. Husband and children of predeceased daughter also do not get a share if I have a son. They are considered remote relatives.
The shares will be as follows:
The rules of inheritance about predeceased children are much more detailed than what I have broadly stated above.
Surviving relatives inherit.
In all cases, relatives who survive me at the time of my death will inherit. If anyone dies later before receiving his share, his share will go to by intestate succession to his relatives.
The daughter takes her share whatever her age or status (married, unmarried, divorced, or widowed).
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– Nilima Bhadbhade
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