Top 10 FAQs NRI’s inheriting property in India

by | Jan 27, 2021 | Indian Law, NRI Legal Services, OCI

Whether you are a Non-Resident Indian (NRI), an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) or a Person of Indian Origin (PIO), without proper guidance, transferring or inheriting Indian property may prove to be a confusing and time-consuming process. In this post, we will discuss the top frequently asked questions on Indian property inheritance.

Here are some of the top questions on inheriting property in India:

Can a Non-Resident Indian inherit a property in India?

Yes, a Non-Resident Indian can inherit the property from anyone including his relatives. The NRI can inherit a property in India even from another NRI, subject to certain conditions. An NRI or any person of Indian origin can inherit a property in India, whether it is residential, commercial or agricultural land.

What is the Indian Succession Act 1925?

The Indian Succession Act came into operation on 30 September 1925 and it seeks to consolidate all Indian Laws relating to succession. It applies to the succession of property whether there is a will or not.

What is intestate succession under Indian Law?

In the case of a person who dies without making a will, their property in India passes by inheritance as per the personal law of the deceased, this process is known as intestate succession under Indian law.

Who can make a Will?

Section 59 of the Indian Succession Act provides that every person of sound mind, not being a minor, may dispose of his property in India by a Will. 

What can be willed?

Properties in India that are self-acquired can be disposed of under a Will. Properties acquired by inheritance or gift, etc. and held exclusively can also be the subject matter of Will. 

What is a Codicil?

A will under Indian law can be changed by the testator during his lifetime either by making a new will after revoking an old will or by amending the old will by a separate instrument made with the intention to make such an instrument a part of it. 

What is probate?

Probate is the grant of administration of a deceased person’s estate by the Indian court of competent jurisdiction on the basis of a will. 

What is a Succession Certificate under Indian Law?

In the absence of a will, a succession certificate is a legal document that is issued by the court for claiming movable properties by the successors of the deceased, such as bank or savings accounts in India.

What is the difference between a Succession Certificate and a Legal Heir Certificate?

Under Indian property inheritance law, a succession certificate is required in instances where a family member passes away and the next direct legal heir of the deceased is his wife/husband/son/daughter/mother. This certificate can be used for the purpose of paying certain taxes and accounts. 

In contrast to an Indian succession certificate, a legal heir certificate is required if a Government official has passed away, in order to claim a family pension, insurance, retirement claims, etc. 

What are the other methods of transferring property when the person is alive?

A property transfer in India can take place when the person is alive through a gift deed. In other cases, an individual can claim his/her right through an Indian partition deed. 

If you are looking to transfer property in India, we recommend that you seek professional legal advice.

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