The property is always under dispute when the owner dies intestate. An intestate is a term used for a person who died without making a will of his own. This means that the legal heirs need to follow certain rules slated by the government and by the religious communities. In the case of a will, the legal heir knows what they are entitled to and cannot get beyond the limits decided by the deceased. But it can even be challenged in the court of law if a foul play is detected. But let us get back to the intestate situation and dig deep to know some facts.
Good to know information
Class I Heirs are classified by the government as the immediate family members of the deceased. They have the first right to the property of the owner. As per the law, the property needs to be distributed among every heir equally. Legally the mother of the deceased, the wife, their son, and daughter are Class I in such a case. If the children are minors then the money or the property will be with the mother until the children attain 18 years of age, else the property will be distributed equally.
This rule applies to the Hindus as per the law while for Muslims it is a little different. As per the law, two third of the property of the deceased will be distributed as per the line of succession and the remaining one third will go as per the testamentary succession. But this is when the property is inherited. In the case of absence of the will, the property will go the man’s heirs.
What needs to be done?
When the legal heirs claim their rights in the property with no will, they need to get a succession certificate. This can be attained by applying the civil court where the deceased stayed or where the property exists. The court will then publish an ad in the newspapers and a notice will be issued to the heirs. The waiting period is around 4 to 6 weeks for any objections to be received by the court with the property in succession. In case there are no objections received in the given period, then a succession order is passed in the name of the legal heirs. The court needs the legal heirs to submit a judicial stamp paper with the amount as prescribed by the law.
A letter of administration is also necessary to work the estate. The legal heirs need to apply for a grant of letter of administration which will give them the right to occupy and run the property with complete rights. All these formalities should be done within 90 days from the death date of the deceased. Any kind of property such as the money, house, agricultural land, shares and other assets will be distributed equally among the legal heirs. In case if the daughter wants her share in the house then it needs to be sold and the profits will be distributed equally. This is only possible if the other sibling wishes the same else the house cannot be sold. If the property has joint owners then the surviving joint owners also get the equal share only in the property they jointly own.
Money in the Bank
If the money is in the bank account then the bank takes certain steps before the money is handed over to the legal heirs. There are various threshold limits set by different banks usually 1 lakh. If the amount is less than this limit then the succession certificate or the letter of administration is just fine to get the money withdrawn from the bank. But the legal heirs have to sign a letter of indemnity where they cannot hold the bank responsible for the amount withdrawn henceforth. In case if the amount is above the limit then the succession certificate is a must. This is only in case if there is no nominee selected by the deceased. In case if there is a nominee then the money will be transferred to him only on the condition that he will be a trustee of the amount and will have to transfer it to the legal heirs as soon as possible.