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  • Writer's pictureKranthi Pachipala, CFP®,CTEP®, CREP®

Did You Know That Father is Not a Class I heir as per Hindu Succession Act 1956


Hindu Succession Act 1956
Hindu Succession Act 1956

Did you know that according to the Hindu Succession Act of 1956, a father is not considered a class 1 heir and has no claim on the assets of children when the son/daughter passes away leaving behind class 1 heirs? 

If a male Hindu dies intestate (without a will), the property will be distributed according to the Hindu Succession Act 1956. As per the act, The first rights of the property goes to the class I heirs. It will be distributed equally between all the surviving class I heirs. as per the law, class I heirs are surviving spouse, children and mother. 

 In essence, this means that fathers do not have legal inheritance rights to their children's property, and the implications of this can be particularly complex and undesirable. Let's delve into a hypothetical sticky scenario to better understand this.

Imagine Mr. A, a 54-year-old Hindu male is the only son of Mr. B, a 78-year-old. A's mother passed away long ago, and he is currently living with his father (B) , wife (50) and two children (25,23). Mr. B, as a first-generation business owner, transferred all his property and business ownership to his son upon retirement several years ago.

Now, consider the potential challenges if Mr. A were to pass away without leaving a will. According to the Hindu Succession Act, his property would devolve equally among his wife and children. This leaves Mr. B, the father, dependent on his daughter-in-law and grandchildren for his care and well-being.

So, what could Mr. A have done to prevent this scenario? One effective solution is creating a will in which A bequeaths certain assets to his father so that he is sufficiently funded and taken care financially for the remaining of his life. Another sophisticated approach could have been writing a will that incorporates a testamentary family trust, providing a structured approach to address his father's needs. In this scenario, Mr. A could have established a testamentary family trust, designating certain assets to be transferred to the trust after his demise. The father, Mr. B, would be named as the beneficiary of the trust, ensuring his financial well-being and care. In either case, Mr A's wish of his father well being would have been taken care. Without will, it is left to the law and at the mercy other people.

In summary, taking proactive steps, such as writing a will, can provide a safeguard for loved ones prevent lot of hassle and running around the court. This approach ensures a structured and compassionate handling of property distribution, assuring the well-being of loved ones, especially in intricate family dynamics. 

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