Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Adopted child is considered Class 1 heir

The laws governing inheritance and succession are generally governed either under personal laws or the Indian Succession Act

My parents had a daughter two years after I was adopted. How will my rights on property and that of my sister differ? Can she legally claim more share or it depends on our parents?

—Name withheld on request

The laws governing inheritance and succession are generally governed either under personal laws or the Indian Succession Act. We assume that you were adopted under the Hindu laws of adoption.

As per the Hindu laws, an adopted child shall be deemed to be the child of his or her adoptive father or mother, for all purposes with effect from the date of the adoption, and from the date of adoption, all the ties of the child in the family of his or her birth shall be deemed to be severed and replaced by those created by adoption in the adoptive family. Further, Hindu laws do not create any distinction between biological children or adopted children; and once the adoption is legal, there is no difference or classification between biological children and adopted children, treating both on equal footing.

If your parents have made a Will, they may at their own discretion decide on the distribution of their self-acquired property among the children and the same would come into effect after their death.

If the property devolves by way of intestate succession (i.e. without a Will) under the personal law, in this case Hindu laws, there is no difference between biological children and adopted children, such child or children will be entitled to succession as Class I heirs in the proportion as set out under the Hindu law of succession.

Aradhana Bhansali is partner, Rajani Associates. Queries at mintmoney@livemint.com

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