Six situations where the right to inherit property is lost

Inherit Property

Most of us have or stand to inherit property as our family moves on to the next generation. The property and assets amassed by one generation pass on to the next generation. This is often conducted amicably, through a will, or sometimes settled through a dispute. 

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For instance, if a person dies without a will, the surviving children inherit property rights and ownership. However, there are situations where a person and his or her children may lose their rights.

6 Such scenarios where one can lose the right to inherit property

1. Change of religion – If a person changes religion, two conditions emerge. Firstly, whether the succession law applied to the converted person before conversion. And secondly, whether the property in question was divided before or after the conversion. Under Hindu Succession Act, the legal property rights of a person are decided by taking the person’s religion into account. So, if the person changes religion, he or she and the children lose the right to inherit property from Hindu relatives.

2. Adoption – Children inherit property rights from the family who adopts him or them. Accordingly, once adopted, the person loses the inheritance rights over the property of the biological property. However, if the individual inherits the property before being adopted, the inheritance of the biological family’s property remains. Such an individual can subsequently inherit property owned by the adopting family.

3. Murder – It is a no-brainer that if you murder the person from whom you would inherit property, you lose the right to inheritance upon conviction. The children of the murderer also lose the right to inheritance. 

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4. Family separation – In case of family separation, a person forgoes the right to inheritance for a certain sum of money. In this arrangement, the legal heirs agree to pay one particular heir the money so that the heir makes no further claim on the property. With this, the heir's children also lose the right to inherit.

5. Will – A person can prepare his or her will so that a particular legal heir is excluded from the inheritance right. In such a step, too, the children lose their inheritance right. The excluded heir can, however, contest the will and establish coercion or undue influence while drafting the will. 

6. Surrender – A person can voluntarily choose to relinquish property rights, thus ending his and his children’s rights too. In a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), the Karta cannot surrender without the consent of the coparceners. However, one of the coparceners can surrender inheritance rights without the permission of the other HUF members. 

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Thus, these are the situations in which a person can lose the right to inherit property or choose to lose the right voluntarily.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for general information purposes only and should not be construed as investment or legal advice. You should separately obtain independent advice when making decisions in these areas.