Any asset / wealth devolving on to the beneficiaries by virtue of succession on demise of a person is Inheritance.
Following are the 3 Legal Statutes prevailing in India that deal with devolution of the estate / assets / wealth on the death of a person:
- Hindu Succession Act
Indian Succession Act
As you may be aware, a Probate is an official evidence of the Executor’s right to dispose off the property of the Testator as per the terms of the WILL.
Presently, as per the Succession Law, Probate is mandatory only in the following situations:
For WILLs executed by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists within areas under the jurisdiction of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta High Courts;
For WILLs outside these areas if they relate to immovable property situated within the jurisdiction of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta High Courts
However, recently there have been rising disputes amongst legal heirs contesting distribution of property as specified under the WILLs.
Accordingly, owing to recent judgments in this regard and with a view to safeguarding the interests of bonafide legal heirs, it is advisable to obtain Probate for all WILLs irrespective of the place of execution and / or location of the immovable property.
Please note that as per our past experiences, it may take upto one year for obtaining the Probate of a WILL.
Points to Remember:
Currently there is no Inheritance / Estate tax applicable in India. Several countries however, levy Inheritance / Estate tax. In this regard, an NRI shall also have to keep in mind the tax implications and reporting requirements of inheritance in his / her country of Residence.