Who is a legal heir?
A person or entity who has the right to gain possession of your assets on your death, according to the laws of inheritance, is your legal heir. He is the lawful owner of all your movable assets, such as cash and other financial assets, family heirlooms, jewellery and any other artefacts that you may have acquired in your lifetime, as well as immovable assets such as land and property.
But there is a flip side to this, too. In case the person who passed away has any liabilities, then the legal heirs also inherit those. Liabilities include existing loans or payments due to any other individual or organization. These are divided among the legal heirs in the same proportion as the assets.
Who are class one heirs?
As per the Hindu succession Act, legal heirs are described as class one and class two legal heirs. In case of Hindus, class one legal heirs include mother, spouse and children. Each of them gets an equal share of the estate. If any of the children are already dead, then their children and wives (in case it is a son) would share the portion of the estate belonging to the deceased equally.
Who are class two heirs?
Class two legal heirs include father and siblings and also other relatives, such as great grandchildren, nieces and nephews and your mother’s and father’s siblings.
How is property distributed?
When a male Hindu dies intestate, that is without leaving a will, his assets are to be distributed as per this Act among his legal heirs. The first right to the assets of the departed is held by class one legal heirs.
In case you have no class one legal heirs and the property goes to your class two legal heirs, then there are eight entries under it. The assets will be distributed to those relations listed under entry one if there are any, else second entry and so on.
If there are no class two legal heirs also, then the property will go to the deceased’s agnates or relatives through male lineage that is through father or son. If there are no agnates, then the property is given to cognates, or any relative through the lineage of females that is through mother or daughter.