salient features of Indian Succession Act 1925

Advocate Shivendra


High Court Lucknow


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The Indian Succession Act, 1925 is an important legislation that governs the inheritance and succession of property in India. It consolidates and unifies the laws relating to the testamentary and intestate succession for various communities in the country. Here are some of the salient features of the Indian Succession Act, 1925:

  1. Applicability: The Act applies to all Indian citizens, regardless of their religion or faith. It covers the rules of succession for both Hindus and non-Hindus.
  2. Intestate and Testamentary Succession: The Act deals with both intestate succession (when a person dies without leaving a valid Will) and testamentary succession (when a person dies leaving a valid Will).
  3. Definitions: The Act defines important terms such as “Will,” “testator,” “executor,” “administrator,” “legatee,” “heir,” etc., to provide clarity on its provisions.
  4. Rules of Succession: The Act lays down the rules for the distribution of a deceased person’s property when they die without leaving a Will (intestate succession). These rules vary based on the religion or faith of the deceased.
  5. Testamentary Dispositions: The Act governs the validity, execution, and revocation of Wills. It sets out the requirements for a Will to be legally valid, such as testamentary capacity, signature, and attestation by witnesses.
  6. Executorship and Administration: The Act provides for the appointment and powers of executors (persons appointed by the testator to carry out the instructions in the Will) and administrators (persons appointed by the court to manage the estate of the deceased when there is no Will).
  7. Rights and Liabilities of Representatives: The Act defines the rights, duties, and liabilities of executors, administrators, and other legal representatives of the deceased.
  8. Legacies and Bequests: The Act deals with legacies (specific gifts of movable property) and bequests (specific gifts of immovable property) under a Will.
  9. Lapse and Ademption: The Act addresses the rules of lapse (when a beneficiary predeceases the testator) and ademption (when the subject matter of a gift in the Will is no longer available).
  10. Succession Certificate: The Act allows for the issuance of a succession certificate to establish the legal heirship of the deceased and facilitate the transfer of assets to the rightful heirs.
  11. Probate and Letters of Administration: The Act provides for the grant of probate (official recognition of the validity of a Will) and letters of administration (when there is no Will) by the court.
  12. Matrimonial Property: The Act includes provisions relating to the distribution of the deceased’s property in cases involving joint ownership with a spouse or marital property.

The Indian Succession Act, 1925, has been amended over the years to address changing societal needs and ensure fairness in the process of succession and inheritance. It continues to be a crucial piece of legislation guiding the inheritance laws in India.