Father died w/o Will. Can mother sell property w/o asking legal heirs?

We have a property in an unauthorized colony in Delhi through Power of Attorney in my Father's name. The property papers have got circular notary stamps on it. Recently my father passed away without making any Will, leaving my mother and two brothers as legal heirs.

Now we would like to sell the property, but do not know how to proceed for the same. Do we need to convert the property on any of the legal heir's name or my mother has the powers to sell it directly by taking no objection from other legal heirs? Please guide.

Answers (1)

346 votes

When a Hindu male dies intestate, his property devolves around his legal heirs. Section 10 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 gives in detail the list of Class I heirs who are to be given the first preference while dividing the property of the deceased. 

Rule 1 of this Section provides for a share of property for the widow of the deceased. 

Rule 2 of this Section provides for a share, each for the surviving sons and daughters and the mother of the deceased.

In view of the aforesaid, in absence of a Will, all his legal heirs including your mother will have an equal right in the property.

As you mentioned, you wish to sell your property, so in this case, you will have to obtain the Letter of Administration under the Indian Succession Act, 1956. You cannot sell your property unless you obtain a Letter of Administration.

Letter of Administration is issued by a competent authority (court) who appoints the Administrator to dispose of the property of a person who has died without making a Will or in relation to a property that is not covered in the Will.

A Letter of Administration can be granted after 14 clear days from the date of death of an intestate.

For obtaining a letter of administration the beneficiary has to apply to the court under Section 276(1) of the Indian Succession Act 1925. Section 276(1) of the Indian Succession Act is reproduced here under:

1) Application for probate or for letters of administration, with the Will annexed, shall be made by a petition distinctly written in English or in the language in ordinary use in proceedings before the Court in which the application is made, with the Will or, in the cases mentioned in sections 237, 238 and 239, a copy, draft, or statement of the contents thereof, annexed, and stating—

(a) the time of the testator’s death,

(b) that the writing annexed is his last Will and testament,

(c) that it was duly executed,

(d) the amount of assets which are likely to come to the petitioner’s hands, and

(e) when the application is for probate, that the petitioner is the executor named in the Will.

Accordingly, the Court may grant you the Letter of Administration and then you can sell your property.

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