Voice of Justice: inheritance and succession – Pakistan
Inheritance law is the law and rules governing how people receive property from the estate of a deceased relative. These laws ensure that beneficiaries can receive some form of inheritance if the will is not drawn up or does not cover all the deceased person’s assets. Wills are the process of settling the estate and distributing assets among the heirs after debts have been paid. The term ‘probate’ can also be used to refer to the estate a person leaves behind when they die.
The Inheritance Act was enacted in part to address the unfair treatment of dependents not provided for in the deceased’s will.
As Pakistan is a predominantly Muslim country, and the Constitution provides that Islamic law governs all legislation in the country, it is necessary to provide for an Islamic law of succession. In the absence of a comprehensive Lawyer for Inheritance Disputes, the courts apply traditional Islamic inheritance rules according to different Muslim communities. In Pakistani law, inheritance and succession are currently regulated only by the Inheritance Act 1925 and Article 4 of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961.
Islamic inheritance law varies from one Muslim country to another. The two main classifications are Sunni and Shia inheritance laws.
In Sunni law, there are three types of legal heirs: joint-heirs, testamentary heirs, and heirs at large. Joint or Koranic heirs are entitled to a certain share of the inheritance. Other shareholders are those who do not take a share but inherit what remains after payment of the shareholders’ claims. If there are no shareholders or residents, relatives living at a distance inherit.
SHAREHOLDERS OR HEIRS OF THE CHIROPRACTIC PRACTICE.
After payment of funeral expenses, debts, and wills, the estate, called the “net estate”, is divided among the co-owners according to the table below. Column I shows how the estate should be distributed when the member is alive. Column III shows where the other heir has omitted the member. Column IV indicates where the shareholder is not completely excluded from the estate and column V indicates the effect of partial exclusion.
Deletion Of Relatives
If there are no shareholders or heirs, the inheritance is distributed among the distant relatives. If the spouse is the sole shareholder and there are no heirs, the part remaining after the payment of the spouse’s share is distributed among the most distant relatives.
Like residents, distant relatives are divided into four categories, listed below in order of importance:
descendants of the deceased
Descendants of the deceased
Descendants of the deceased’s parents
Descendants of grandparents (true or false), so that descendants of immediate grandparents exclude descendants of more distant relatives.
Shi’ite law of inheritance
Shi’ite law divides heirs into two main categories, namely sabab or special disposition and nasab or blood relationship, which are further subdivided into heirs by legal relationship and heirs by marriage, including husband and wife. Blood relatives are divided into three categories, namely parents, children and direct descendants, grandparents, siblings and their siblings and descendants, and paternal and maternal uncles and aunts.
Compared to the Sunni law of inheritance, the Shiite law recognizes only partners and residents. Shia law recognizes only 9 shareholders. Descendants of shareholders are also classified as shareholders. A person who is not a shareholder is considered a survivor. The following table shows the distribution of assets among shareholders.
Where there are no direct descendants and there is only one full sibling or one brother and one sister or three siblings.
Parents or direct descendants
Brother or father of the father
A sister, brother or descendant of the father who is from the same family as the father.
Parents or direct descendants or full siblings
Half-brother or paternal half-brother
Inheritance from biological brothers or paternal uncles
National legislation applies to the provision of inheritance to a prophet. The transfer of movable and immovable property from the deceased to his or her heirs is governed by the Federal Succession Act, 1925 and the Provincial Succession Act, 2020.
The main objective of the Administrative Letters and Succession Procedures Act is to ensure that certificates of inheritance and letters of administration are issued as quickly as possible. Section 3 of the Act establishes a Succession Facilitation Unit in NADRA offices to receive applications for letters of administration and certificates of inheritance, to process and review these applications for rejection or acceptance, and to maintain an online portal for record-keeping.
In accordance with the provisions of Section 6, the application for an administrative probate certificate must be accompanied by the death certificate of the deceased, a list of the legal heirs and photocopies of their identity cards, a power of attorney issued by the legal heirs in favor of the applicant and details of movable and immovable property. Such an application shall be made if a statement of objections has been received. If no such application is made, NADRA shall issue an administrative letter or probate certificate equivalent to those issued by a District Judge or High Court under the Inheritance Act 1925.
However, if there is an objection to the issue of an administration letter or probate certificate, that objection shall be dealt with by application of the Inheritance Act 1925 if the application is made to the District Judge or the High Court under their concurrent jurisdiction.
An application for a letter of administration shall be made under section 278 and an application for a probate certificate under section 276. Such an application must also be defended against in court. The court is also empowered to hear the applicant in person, to call for further evidence, and to hear any person having an interest in the property. Once this has been done, the court must issue an administrative letter or a decision on the estate under the seal of the court in accordance with sections 289 and 290 of the Act.
The same Act also empowers the District Judge to hear applications for probate certificates under Section 371. Under Section 372, the application must state the time of death, the residence of the deceased, the family or other close relatives of the deceased, the rights claimed by the applicant, the absence of disability, and the debts and securities on which the certificate of inheritance is to be issued.
On receipt of such application, the court, after satisfying itself that the necessary grounds exist for granting the application, shall fix a date for a hearing and publish notice of the hearing. At the end of the hearing, the court shall issue a certificate of succession.