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The Indian Succession Act, 1925

The Indian Succession Act, 1925

ACT No. 39 OF 1925

[30th September, 1925.]

An Act to consolidate the law applicable to intestate and testamentary succession 2;

WHEREAS it is expedient to consolidate the law applicable to intestate and testamentary succession 2; It is hereby enacted as follows:–

Part I – Preliminary

  1. Short title
  2. Definitions
  3. Power of State Government to exempt any race, sect or tribe in the State from operation of Act

Part II – Domicile

  1. Application of Part
  2. Law regulating succession to deceased person’s immoveable and moveable property, respectively
  3. One domicile only affects succession to moveables
  4. Domicile of origin of person of legitimate birth
  5. Domicile of origin of illegitimate child
  6. Continuance of domicile of origin
  7. Acquisition of new domicile
  8. Special mode of acquiring domicile in India
  9. Domicile not acquired by residence as representative of foreign Government, or as part of his family
  10. Continuance of new domicile
  11. Minor’s domicile
  12. Domicile acquired by woman on marriage
  13. Wife’s domicile during marriage
  14. Minor’s acquisition of new domicile
  15. Lunatic’s acquisition of new domicile
  16. Succession to moveable property in India in absence of proof of domicile elsewhere

Part III – Marriage

  1. Interests and powers not acquired not lost by marriage
  2. Effect of marriage between person domiciled and one not domiciled in India
  3. Settlement of minor’s property in contemplation of marriage

Part IV – Consanguinity

  1. Application of Part
  2. Kindred or consanguinity
  3. Lineal consanguinity
  4. Collateral consanguinity
  5. Persons held for purpose of succession to be similarly related to deceased
  6. Mode of computing of degrees of kindred

Part V – Intestate Succession

Chapter I – Preliminary

  1. Application of Part
  2. As to what property deceased considered to have died intestate

Chapter II – Rules in cases of Intestates other than Parsis

  1. Chapter not to apply to Parsis
  2. Devolution of such property
  3. Where intestate has left widow and lineal descendants, or widow and kindred only, or widow and no kindred

33 A. Special provision where intestate has left widow and no lineal descendants

  1. Where intestate has left no widow, and where he has left no kindred
  2. Rights of widower
  3. Rules of distribution
  4. Where intestate has left child or children only
  5. Where intestate has left no child, but grandchild or grandchildren
  6. Where intestate has left only great-grandchildren or remoter lineal descendants
  7. Where intestate leaves lineal descendants not all in same degree of kindred to him, and those through whom the more remote are descended are dead
  8. Rules of distribution where intestate has left no lineal descendants
  9. Where intestate’s father living
  10. Where intestate’s father dead, but his mother, brothers and sisters living
  11. Where intestate’s father dead and his mother, a brother or sister, and children of any deceased brother or sister, living
  12. Where intestate’s father dead and his mother and children of any deceased brother or sister living
  13. Where intestate’s father dead, but his mother living and no brother, sister, nephew or niece
  14. Where intestate has left neither lineal descendant, nor father, nor mother
  15. Where intestate has left neither lineal descendant, nor parent, nor brother, nor sister
  16. Children’s advancements not brought into hotchpot

Chapter III – Special Rules for Parsi Intestates

  1. General principles relating to intestate succession
  2. Division of intestate’s property among widow, widower, children and Parents

52. [Repealed.]

  1. Division of share of predeceased child of intestate leaving lineal descendants
  2. Division of property where intestate leaves no lineal descendant out leaves a widow or widower or a widow or widower of any lineal descendant
  3. Division of property where intestate leaves neither lineal descendants nor a widow or widower nor a widow of any lineal descendant
  4. Division of property where there is no relative entitled to succeed under the other provisions of this Chapter

Part VI – Testamentary Succession

Chapter I – Introductory

  1. Application of certain provisions of Part to a class of wills made by Hindus, etc.
  2. General application of Part

Chapter II – Wills and Codicils

  1. Person capable of making wills
  2. Testamentary guardian
  3. Will obtained by fraud, coercion or importunity
  4. Will may be revoked or altered

Chapter III – Execution of unprivileged Wills

  1. Execution of unprivileged wills
  2. Incorporation of papers by reference

Chapter IV – Privileged Wills

  1. Privileged wills
  2. Mode of making, and rules for executing, privileged wills

Chapter V – Attestation, Revocation, Alteration and Revival of Wills

  1. Effect of gift to attesting witness
  2. Witness not disqualified by interest or by being executor
  3. Revocation of will by testator’s marriage
  4. Revocation of unprivileged will or codicil
  5. Effect of obliteration, interlineation or alteration in unprivileged will
  6. Revocation of privileged will or codicil
  7. Revival of unprivileged will

Chapter VI – Construction of Wills

  1. Wording of will
  2. Inquiries to determine questions as to object or subject of will
  3. Misnomer or misdescription of object
  4. When words may be supplied
  5. Rejection of erroneous particulars in description of subject
  6. When part of description may not be rejected as erroneous
  7. Extrinsic evidence admissible in cases of patent ambiguity
  8. Extrinsic evidence inadmissible in case of patent ambiguity or deficiency
  9. Meaning of clause to be collected from entire will
  10. When words may be understood in restricted sense, and when in sense wider than usual
  11. Which of two possible constructions preferred
  12. No part rejected, if can be it reasonably construed
  13. Interpretation of words repeated in different parts of will
  14. Testator’s intention to be effectuated as far as possible
  15. The last of two inconsistent clauses prevails
  16. Will or bequest void for uncertainty
  17. Words describing subject refer to property answering description at testator’s death
  18. Power of appointment executed by general bequest
  19. Implied gift to objects of power in default of appointment
  20. Bequest to “heirs,” etc., of particular person without qualifying terms
  21. Bequest to “representatives,” etc., of particular person
  22. Bequest without words of limitation
  23. Bequest in alternative
  24. Effect of words describing a class added to bequest to person
  25. Bequest to class of persons under general description only
  26. Construction of terms.-In a will
  27. Words expressing relationship denote only legitimate relatives or failing such relatives reputed legitimate
  28. Rules of construction where will purports to make two bequests to same person
  29. Constitution of residuary legatee
  30. Property to which residuary legatee entitled
  31. Time of vesting legacy in general terms
  32. In what case legacy lapses
  33. Legacy does not lapse if one of two joint legatees die before testator
  34. Effect of words showing testator’s intention to give distinct shares
  35. When lapsed share goes as undisposed of
  36. When bequest to testator’s child or lineal descendant does not lapse on his death in testator’s lifetime
  37. Bequest to A for benefit of B does not lapse by A’s death
  38. Survivorship in case of bequest to described class

Chapter VII – Void Bequests

  1. Bequest to person by particular description, who is not in existence at testator’s death
  2. Bequest to person not in existence at testator’s death subject to prior bequest
  3. Rule against perpetuity
  4. Bequest to a class some of whom may come under rules in sections 113 and 114
  5. Bequest to take effect on failure of prior bequest
  6. Effect of direction for accumulation
  7. Bequest to religious or charitable uses

Chapter VIII – Vesting of Legacies

  1. Date of vesting of legacy when payment or possession postponed
  2. Date of vesting when legacy contingent upon specified uncertain event
  3. Vesting of interest in bequest to such members of a class as shall have attained particular age

Chapter IX – Onerous Bequests

  1. Onerous bequests
  2. One of two separate and independent bequests to same person may be accepted, and other refused

Chapter X – Contingent Bequests

  1. Bequest contingent upon specified uncertain event, no time being mentioned for its occurrence
  2. Bequest to such of certain persons as shall be surviving at some period not specified

Chapter XI – Conditional Bequests

  1. Bequest upon impossible condition
  2. Bequest upon illegal or immoral condition
  3. Fulfilment of condition precedent to vesting of legacy
  4. Bequest to A and on failure of prior bequest to B
  5. When second bequest not to take effect on failure of first
  6. Bequest over, conditional upon happening or not happening of specified uncertain event
  7. Condition must be strictly fulfilled
  8. Original bequest not affected by invalidity of second
  9. Bequest conditioned that it shall cease to have effect in case a specified uncertain event shall happen, or not happen
  10. Such condition must not be invalid under section 120
  11. Result of legatee rendering impossible or indefinitely postponing act for which no time specified, and on non-performance of which subject matter to go over
  12. Performance of condition, precedent or subsequent, within specified time. Further time in case of fraud

Chapter XII – Bequests with Directions as to Application or Enjoyment

  1. Direction that fund be employed in particular manner following absolute bequest of same to or for benefit of any person
  2. Direction that mode of enjoyment of absolute bequest is to be restricted, to secure specified benefit for legatee
  3. Bequest of fund for certain purposes, some of which cannot be fulfilled

Chapter XIII – Bequests to an Executor

  1. Legatee named as executor cannot take unless he shows intention to act as executor

Chapter XIV – Specific Legacies

  1. Specific legacy defined
  2. Bequest of certain sum where stocks, etc., in which invested are described
  3. Bequest of stock where testator had, at date of will, equal or greater amount of stock of same kind
  4. Bequest of money where not payable until part of testator’s property disposed of in certain way
  5. When enumerated articles not deemed specifically bequeathed
  6. Retention, in form, of specific bequest to several persons in succession
  7. Sale and investment of proceeds of property bequeathed to two or more persons in succession
  8. Where deficiency of assets to pay legacies, specific legacy not to abate with general legacies

Chapter XV – Demonstrative Legacies

  1. Demonstrative legacy defined
  2. Order of payment when legacy directed to be paid out of fund the subject of specific legacy

Chapter XVI – Ademption of Legacies

  1. Ademption explained
  2. Non-ademption of demonstrative legacy
  3. Ademption of specific bequest of right to receive something from third party
  4. Ademption pro tanto by testator’s receipt of part of entire thing specifically bequeathed
  5. Ademption pro tanto by testator’s receipt of portion of entire fund of which portion has been specifically bequeathed
  6. Order of payment where portion of fund specifically bequeathed to one legatee, and legacy charged on same fund to another, and, testator having received portion of that fund, remainder insufficient to pay both legacies
  7. Ademption where stock, specifically bequeathed, does not exist at testator’s death
  8. Ademption pro tanto where stock, specifically bequeathed, exists in part only at testator’s death
  9. Non-ademption of specific bequest of goods described as connected with certain place, by reason of removal
  10. When removal of thing bequeathed does not constitute ademption
  11. When thing bequeathed is a valuable to be received by testator from third person; and testator himself, or his representative, receives it
  12. Change by operation of law of subject of specific bequest between date of will and testator’s death
  13. Change of subject without testator’s knowledge
  14. Stock specifically bequeathed lent to third party on condition that it be replaced
  15. Stock specifically bequeathed sold but replaced, and belonging to testator at his death

Chapter XVII – Payment of Liabilities in respect of the Subject of a Bequest

  1. Non-liability of executor to exonerate specific legatees
  2. Completion of testator’s title to things bequeathed to be at cost of his estate
  3. Exoneration of legatee’s immoveable property for which land
  4. Exoneration of specific legatee’s stock in joint-stock company

Chapter XVIII – Bequests of Things described in General Terms

  1. Bequest of thing described in general terms

Chapter XIX – Bequests of the Interest or Produce of a Fund

  1. Bequest of interest or produce of fund

Chapter XX – Bequests of Annuities

  1. Annuity created by will payable for life only unless contrary intention appears by will
  2. Period of vesting where will directs that annuity be provided out of proceeds of property, or out of property generally, or where money bequeathed to be invested in purchase of annuity
  3. Abatement of annuity
  4. Where gift of annuity and residuary gift, whole annuity to be first satisfied

Chapter XXI – Legacies to Creditors and Portioners

  1. Creditor prima facie entitled to legacy as well as debt
  2. Child prima facie entitled to legacy as well as portion
  3. No ademption by subsequent provision for legatee

Chapter XXII – Election

  1. Circumstances in which election takes place
  2. Devolution of interest relinquished by owner
  3. Testator’s belief as to his ownership immaterial
  4. Bequest for man’s benefit how regarded for purpose of election
  5. Person deriving benefit indirectly not put to election
  6. Person taking in individual capacity under will may in other character elect to take in opposition
  7. Exception to provisions of last six sections
  8. When acceptance of benefit given by will constitutes election to take under will
  9. Circumstances in which knowledge or waiver is presumed or inferred
  10. When testator’s representatives may call upon legatee to elect
  11. Postponement of election in case of disability

Chapter XXIII – Gifts in Contemplation of Death

  1. Property transferable by gift made in contemplation of death

Part VII – Protection of Property of Deceased

  1. Person claiming right by succession to property of deceased may apply for relief against wrongful possession
  2. Inquiry made by Judge
  3. Procedure
  4. Appointment of curator pending determination of proceeding
  5. Powers conferrable on curator
  6. Prohibition of exercise of certain powers by curators
  7. Curator to give security and may receive remuneration
  8. Report from Collector where estate includes revenue-paying land
  9. Institution and defence of suits
  10. Allowances to apparent owners pending custody by curator
  11. Accounts to be filed by curator
  12. Inspection of accounts and right of interested party to keep duplicate
  13. Bar to appointment of second curator for same property
  14. Limitation of time for application for curator
  15. Bar to enforcement of Part against public settlement or legal directions by deceased
  16. Court of Wards to be made curator in case of minors having property subject to its jurisdiction
  17. Saving of right to bring suit
  18. Effect of decision of summary proceeding

Part VIII – Representative Title to Property of Deceased on Succession

  1. Appointment of public curators
  2. Character and property of executor or administrator as such
  3. Right to intestate’s property
  4. Right as executor or legatee when established
  5. Proof of representative title a condition precedent to recovery through the Courts of debts from debtors of deceased persons
  6. Effection certificate of subsequent probate or letters of administration
  7. Grantee of probate or administration alone to sue, etc., until same revoked

Part IX – Probate, Letters of Administration and Administration of Assets of Deceased

  1. Application of Part

Chapter I – Grant of Probate and Letters of Administration

  1. To whom administration may be granted, where deceased is a Hindu, Muhammadan, Buddhist, Sikh, Jaina or exempted person
  2. Where deceased is not a Hindu, Muhammadan, Buddhist, Sikh, Jaina or exempted person
  3. Effect of letters of administration
  4. Acts not validated by administration
  5. Probate only to appointed executor
  6. Persons to whom probate cannot be granted
  7. Grant of probate to several executors simultaneously or at different times
  8. Separate probate of codicil discovered after grant of probate
  9. Accrual of representation to surviving executor
  10. Effect of probate
  11. Administration, with copy annexed, of authenticated copy of will proved abroad
  12. Grant of administration where executor has not renounced
  13. Form and effect of renunciation of executor-ship
  14. Procedure where executor renounces or fails to accept within time limited
  15. Grant of administration to universal or residuary legatees
  16. Right to administration of representative of deceased residuary legatee
  17. Grant of administration where no executor, nor residuary legatee nor representative of such legatee
  18. Citation before grant of administration to legatee other than universal or residuary
  19. To whom administration may not be granted

236 A. Laying of rules before State Legislature

Chapter II – Limited Grants

  1. Probate of copy or draft of lost will
  2. Probate of contents of lost or destroyed will
  3. Probate of copy where original exists
  4. Administration until will produced
  5. Administration, with will annexed, to attorney of absent executor
  6. Administration, with will annexed, to attorney of absent person who, if present, would be entitled to administer
  7. Administration to attorney of absent person entitled to administer in case of intestacy
  8. Administration during minority of sole executor or residuary legatee
  9. Administration during minority of several executors or residuary legatees
  10. Administration for use and benefit of lunatic or minor
  11. Administration pendente lite
  12. Probate limited to purpose specified in will
  13. Administration, with will annexed, limited to particular purpose
  14. Administration limited to property in which person has beneficial interest
  15. Administration limited to suit
  16. Administration limited to purpose of becoming party to suit to be brought against administrator
  17. Administration limited to collection and preservation of deceased’s property
  18. Appointment, as administrator, of person other than one who, in ordinary circumstances, would be entitled to administration
  19. Probate or administration, with will annexed, subject to exception
  20. Administration with exception
  21. Probate or administration of rest
  22. Grant of effects unadministered
  23. Rules as to grants of effects unadministered
  24. Administration when limited grant expired and still some part of estate unadministered

Chapter III – Alteration and Revocation of Grants

  1. What errors may be rectified by Court
  2. Procedure where codicil discovered after grant of administration with will annexed
  3. Revocation or annulment for just cause

Chapter IV – Practice in granting and revoking Probates and Letters of Administration

  1. Jurisdiction of District Judge in granting and revoking probates, etc
  2. Power to appoint delegate of District Judge to deal with non-contentious cases
  3. District Judge’s powers as to grant of probate and administration
  4. District Judge may order person to produce testamentary papers
  5. Proceedings of District Judge’s Court in relation to probate and administration
  6. When and how District Judge to interfere for protection of property
  7. When probate or administration may be granted by District Judge
  8. Disposal of application made to Judge of district in which deceased had no fixed abode
  9. Probate and letters of administration may be granted by Delegate
  10. Conclusiveness of probate or letters of administration
  11. Transmission to High Courts of certificate of grants under proviso to section 273
  12. Conclusiveness of application for probate or administration if properly made and verified
  13. Petition for probate
  14. In what cases translation of will to be annexed to petition. Verification of translation by person other than Court translator
  15. Petition for letters of administration
  16. Addition to statement in petition, etc., for probate or letters of administration in certain cases
  17. Petition for probate, etc., to be signed and verified
  18. Verification of petition for probate, by one witness to will
  19. Punishment for false averment in petition or declaration
  20. Powers of District Judge
  21. Caveats against grant of probate or administration
  22. After entry of caveat, no proceeding taken on petition until after notice to caveator
  23. District Delegate when not to grant probate or administration
  24. Power to transmit statement to District Judge in doubtful cases where no contention
  25. Procedure where there is contention, or District Delegate thinks probate or letters of administration should be refused in his Court
  26. Grant of probate to be under seal of Court
  27. Grant of letters of administration to be under seal of Court
  28. Administration-bond
  29. Assignment of administration-bond
  30. Time for grant of probate and administration
  31. Filing of original wills of which probate or administration with will annexed granted
  32. Procedure in contentious cases
  33. Surrender of revoked probate or letters of administration
  34. Payment to executor or administrator before probate or administration revoked
  35. Power to refuse letters of administration
  36. Appeals from orders of District Judge
  37. Concurrent jurisdiction of High Court
  38. Directions to executor or administrator

Chapter V – Executors of their own Wrong

  1. Executor of his own wrong
  2. Liability of executor of his own wrong

Chapter VI – Powers of an Executor or Administrator

  1. In respect of causes of action surviving deceased and debts due at death
  2. Demands and rights of action of or against deceased survive to and against executor or administrator
  3. Power of executor or administrator to dispose of property
  4. General powers of administration
  5. Commission or agency charges
  6. Purchase by executor or administrator of deceased’s property
  7. Powers of several executors or administrators exercisable by one
  8. Survival of powers on death of one of several executors or administrators
  9. Powers of administrator of effects unadministered
  10. Powers of administrator during minority
  11. Powers of married executrix or administratrix

Chapter VII – Duties of an Executor or Administrator

  1. As to deceased’s funeral
  2. Inventory and account
  3. Inventory to include property in any part of India in certain cases
  4. As to property of, and debts owing to, deceased
  5. Expenses to be paid before all debts
  6. Expenses to be paid next after such expenses
  7. Wages for certain services to be next paid, and then other debts
  8. Save as aforesaid, all debts to be paid equally and rateably
  9. Application of moveable property to payment of debts where domicile not in India
  10. Debts to be paid before legacies
  11. Executor or administrator not bound to pay legacies without indemnity
  12. Abatement of general legacies
  13. Non-abatement of specific legacy when assets sufficient to pay debts
  14. Right under demonstrative legacy when assets sufficient to pay debts and necessary expenses
  15. Rateable abatement of specific legacies
  16. Legacies treated as general for purpose of abatement

Chapter VIII – Assent to a Legacy by Executor or Administrator

  1. Assent necessary to complete legatee’s title
  2. Effect of executor’s assent to specific legacy
  3. Conditional assent
  4. Assent of executor to his own legacy
  5. Effect of executor’s assent
  6. Executor when to deliver legacies

Chapter IX – Payment and Apportionment of Annuities

  1. Commencement of annuity when no time fixed by will
  2. When annuity, to be paid quarterly or monthly, first falls due
  3. Dates of successive payments when first payment directed to be made within a given time or on day certain: death of annuitant before date of payment

Chapter X – Investment of Funds to provide for Legacies

  1. Investment of sum bequeathed, where legacy, not specific, given for life
  2. Investment of general legacy, to be paid at future time: disposal of intermediate interest
  3. Procedure when no fund charged with, or appropriated to, annuity
  4. Transfer to residuary legatee of contingent bequest
  5. Investment of residue bequeathed for life, without direction to invest in particular securities
  6. Investment of residue bequeathed for life, with direction to invest in specified securities
  7. Time and manner of conversion and investment
  8. Procedure where minor entitled to immediate payment or possession of bequest, and no direction to pay to person on his behalf
  9. Legatee’s title to produce of specific legacy

Chapter XI – Produce and Interest of Legacies

  1. Residuary legatee’s title to produce of residuary fund
  2. Interest when no time fixed for payment of general legacy
  3. Interest when time fixed
  4. Rate of interest
  5. No interest on arrears of annuity within first year after testator’s death
  6. Interest on sum to be invested to produce annuity

Chapter XII – Refunding of Legacies

  1. Refund of legacy paid under Court’s orders
  2. No refund if paid voluntarily
  3. Refund when legacy has become due on performance of condition within further time allowed under section 137
  4. When each legatee compellable to refund in proportion
  5. Distribution of assets
  6. Creditor may call upon legatee to refund
  7. When legatee, not satisfied or compelled to refund under section 361, cannot oblige one paid in full to refund
  8. When unsatisfied legatee must first proceed against executor, if solvent
  9. Limit to refunding of one legatee to another
  10. Refunding to be without interest
  11. Residue after usual payments to be paid to residuary legatee
  12. Transfer of assets from India to executor or administrator in country of domicile for distribution

Chapter XIII – Liability of an Executor or Administrator for Devastation

  1. Liability of executor or administrator for devastation
  2. Liability of executor or administrator for neglect to get any part of property

Part X – Succession Certificates

  1. Restriction on grant of certificates under this Part
  2. Court having jurisdiction to grant certificate
  3. Application for certificate
  4. Procedure on application
  5. Contents of certificate
  6. Requisition of security from grantee of certificate
  7. Extension of certificate
  8. Forms of certificate and extended certificate
  9. Amendment of certificate in respect of powers as to securities
  10. Mode of collecting Court-fees on certificates
  11. Local extent of certificate
  12. Effect of certificate
  13. Effect of certificate granted or extended by Indian representative in foreign State and in certain other cases
  14. Revocation of certificate
  15. Appeal
  16. Effect on certificate of previous certificate, probate or letters of administration
  17. Validation of certain payments made in good faith to holder of invalid certificate
  18. Effect of decisions under this Act, and liability of holder of certificate thereunder
  19. Investiture of inferior Courts with jurisdiction of District Court for purposes of this Act
  20. Surrender of superseded and invalid certificates
  21. Provisions with respect to certificates under Bombay Regulation 8 of 1827
  22. Saving
  23. Repeals

Schedule I.

Schedule II.

Schedule III.

Schedule IV.

Schedule V.

Schedule VI.

Schedule VII.

Schedule VIII.

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