According to the law, if a person dies without making a Will, he has died “intestate,” which means that the person hasn’t written or left any instructions as to how his property is to be divided and distributed. It is already a traumatic event for the family members when a person dies, and if the person dies intestate, it increases the pain. The issues related to the division of the assets can cause rifts between the family members.
When the person dies intestate, the Hindu Succession Law determines how the property will be distributed upon the death of the individual. This includes any bank accounts, real estate, securities, and other assets that the deceased owns at the time of death.
Problems that arise when individual die without a Will
- When someone dies without making a Will, it can cause a lot of challenges for those left behind.
- The estate will be distributed as per the law, which may not be the same as how one would have liked to divide it.
- The legal heirs will be required to prove their legality before claiming their rights.
- The heirs will have to apply for Succession Certificate or Letter of Administration to manage and divide the property of the deceased person.
- There will be time delays and expenses involved in the process.
- There can be the problem of illegal issues that may delay the distribution of property among the legal heirs such as unavailability of updated property documents, the absence of title deed or vagueness as to who is the owner of the property.
- Anyone can take advantage of the lack of will and falsely claim the right to the concerned assets or illegally occupy it.
- The dispute between the heirs may go on with conclusive results because of which the required distribution of the assets may get un-necessarily delayed.
- If the no one claims the property or is not able to legally prove the relation with the deceased, the government takes over the property.
Documents needed in the Absence of a Will
- In the case of movable property, Succession Certificate is required. It is a document required by the heirs so that they can stake claim to a deceased relative’s assets. One has to apply in the high court or to a magistrate to get the certificate.
- In the case of immovable property, Letter of Administration is required. It is a document issued by the court allowing the administrator to manage and divide ownership of the dead person.
- If there is more than one legal heir, then they can work with the lawyers and distribute the property with mutual agreement. The mutual agreement has to be signed with witnesses and then file it in the court along with the application. One needs Succession Certificate or Letter of Administration even if the legal heirs divide the property with mutual agreement.
Even if the deceased person leave a will behind, the legal heirs face few problems but if the person dies intestate(without making a will) these problems may increase many fold. It is important to take proper legal advice to solve the issues and have a hassle free solution.