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How will the property of a Christian person be distributed after his/her death in case the person has not left a will?
In case a Christian dies without leaving a will, then the property would devolve according to the following rules (as contained in the Indian Succession Act): In case the deceased has left a widow or widower and lineal descendants (children, grandchildren of predeceased children and so on), then the widow or widower as the case maybe would take one third share and the other two thirds of the property would be divided amongst the lineal descendants. In case the person has left a widow or widower and kindred (i.e. mother, father, brothers, sisters or children of predeceases brothers and sisters), the widow or widower as the case maybe would take half the share and the other half would be divided amongst the kindred. If the person has left only a widow, then it will go to the widow and in the absence of any heirs, it will go to the Government.
In case of a Joint Hindu Family, such devolution will take place only when there is a female heir of Class I and not otherwise. In that case there is notional partition of the joint family property to that extent. In absence of a female heir, the property would devolve by survivorship according to Mitakshara law upon the coparceners.
In case a Hindu does not leave a will, then the property of a Hindu would be divided as follows: The property shall first devolve to the following(not in equal proportions though); son, daughter, mother, children of predeceased children, widow of a predeceased son, children and widow of a predeceased son of a predeceased son. These heirs are called Class I heirs. In the absence of these heirs, the property would devolve on what is called Class II heirs. These are mentioned in the schedule of the Hindu Succession Act. These include father, children of predeceased children of a predeceased daughter amongst others. In absence of the Class II heirs, the property would devolve on the agnates i.e. people related wholly through male and in their absence on cognates i.e. people not wholly related through the males.