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The Indian Succession Act, 1925

Chapter VII.- Of void Bequests

112. Bequest to person by particular description, who is not in existence at testator's death.-

Where a bequest is made to a person by a particular description, and there is no person in existence at the testator's death who answers the description, the bequest is void.

Exception.-If property is bequeathed to a person described as standing in a particular degree of kindred to a specified individual, but his possession of it is deferred until a time later than the deathofthe testator, by reason of a prior bequest or otherwise; and if a person answering the description isalive at the death of the testator, or comes into existence between that event and such later time, the property shall, at such later time, go to that person, or, if he is dead, to his representatives.

Illustrations

(i) A bequeaths 1,000 rupees to the eldest son of B. At the death of the testator, B has no son. The bequest is void.

(ii) A bequeaths 1,000 rupees to B for life, and after his death to the eldest son of C. At the death of the testator, C had no son. Afterwards, during the life of B, a son is born to C. Upon B's death the legacy goes to .C's son.

(iii) A bequeaths 1,000 rupees to B for life, and after his death to the eldest son of C. At the death of the testator, C had no son. Afterwards, during the life of B, a son, named D, is born to C. D dies, then B dies. The legacy goes to the representative of D.

(iv) A bequeaths his estate of Green Acre to be for life, and at his decease, to the eldest son of C. Up to the death of B, C has had no son. The bequest to C's eldest son is void.

(v) A bequeaths 1,000 rupees to the eldest son of C, to be paid to him after the death of B. At the death of the testator C has no son, but a son is afterwards born to him during the life of B and is alive at B's death. C's son is entitled to the 1,000 rupees.

113. Bequest to person not in existence at testator's death subject to prior bequest.-

Where a bequest is made to a person not in existence at the time of the testator's death, subject to a prior bequest contained in the will, the later bequest shall be void, unless it comprises the whole of the remaining interest of the testator in the thing bequeathed.

Illustrations

(i) Property is bequeathed to A for his life, and after his death to his eldest son for life, and after the death of the latter to his eldest son. At the time of the testator's death, A has no son. Here the bequest to A's eldest son is a bequest to a person not in existence at the testator's death. It is not a bequest of the whole interest that remains to the testator. The bequest to A's eldest son for his life is void.

(ii) A fund is bequeathed to A for his life, and after his death to his daughters. A survives the testator. A has daughters some of whom were not in existence at the testator's death. The bequest to A's daughters comprises the whole interest that remains to the testator in the thing bequeathed. The bequest to A's daughters is valid.

(iii) A fund is bequeathed to A for his life, and after his death to his daughters, with a direction that, if any of them marries under the age of eighteen, her portion shall be settled so that it may belong, to herself for life and may be divisible among her children after her death. A has no daughters living at the time of the testator's death, but has daughters born afterwards who survive him. Here the direction for a settlement has the effect in the case of each daughter who marries under eighteen of substituting for the absolute bequest to her a bequest to her merely for her life; that is to say, a bequest to a person not in existence at the time of the testator's death of something which is less than the whole interest that remains to the testator in the thing bequeathed. The direction to settle the fund is void.

(iv) A bequeaths a sum of money to B for life, and directs that upon the death of B the fund shall be settled upon his daughters, so that the portion of each daughter may belong to herself for life, and may be divided among her children after her death. B has no daughter living at the time of the testator's death. In this case the only bequest to the daughters of B is contained in the direction to settle the fund, and this direction amounts to a bequest to persons not yet born, of a life-interest in the fund, that is to say, of something which is less than the whole interest that remains to the testator in the thing bequeathed. The direction to settle the fund upon the daughters of B is void.

114. Rule against perpetuity.-

No bequest is valid whereby the vesting of the thing bequeathed may be delayed beyond the life-time of one or more persons living at the testator's death and the minority of some person who shall be in existence at the expiration of that period, and to whom, if he attains full age, the thing bequeathed is to belong.

Illustrations

(i) A fund is bequeathed to A for his life and after his death to B for his life; and after B's death to such of the sons of B as shall first attain the age of 25. A and B survive the testator. Here the son of B who shall first attain the age of 25 may be a son born after the death of the testator; such son may not attain 25 until more than 18 years have elapsed from the death of the longer liver of A and B; and the vesting of the fund may thus be delayed beyond the lifetime of A and B and the minority of the sons of B. The bequest after B's death is void.

(ii) A fund is bequeathed to A for his life, and after his death to B for his life, and after B's death to such of B's sons as shall first attain the age of 25. B dies in the lifetime of the testator, leaving one or more sons. In this case the sons of B are persons living at the time of the testator's decease, and the time ashen either of them will attain 25 necessarily falls within his own lifetime. The bequest is valid.

(iii) A fund is bequeathed to A for his life, and after his death to B for his life, with a direction that after B's death it shall be divided amongst such of B's children as shall attain the age of 18, but that, if no child of B shall attain that age, the fund shall go to C. Here the time for the division of the fund must arrive at the latest at the expiration of 18 years from the death of B, a person living at the testator's decease. All the bequests are valid.

(iv) A fund is bequeathed to trustees for the benefit of the testator's daughters, with a direction that, if any of them marry under age, her share of the fund shall be settled so as to devolve after her death upon such of her children as shall attain the age of 18. Any daugther of the testator to whom the direction applies must be in existence at his decease, and any portion of the fund which may eventually be settled as directed must vest not later than 18 years from the death of the daughters whose share it was. All these provisions are valid.

115. Bequest to a class some of whom may come under rules in sections 113 and 114.-

If a bequest is made to a class of persons with regard to some of whom it is inoperative by reason of the provisions of section 113 or section 114, such bequest shall be 1[void in regard to those persons only, and not in regard to the whole class].

Illustrations

(i) A fund is bequeathed to A for life, and after his death to all his children who shall attain the age of 25. A survives the testator, and has some children living at the testator's death. Each child of A's living at the testator's death must attain the age of 25 (if at all) within the limits allowed for a bequest. But A may have children after the testator's decease, some of whom may not attain the age of 25 until more than 18 years have elapsed after the decease of A. The bequest to A's children, therefore, is inoperative as to any child born after the testator's death; 2[and in regard to those who do not attain the age of 25 within 18 years after A's death, but is operative in regard to the other children of Al

(ii) A fund is bequeathed to A for his life, and after his death to B, C, D and all other children of A who shall attain the age of 25. B, C, D are children of A living at the testator's decease. In all other respects the case is the same as that supposed in Illustration (i). 2[Although the mention of B, C and D does not prevent the bequest from being regarded as a bequest to a class, it is not wholly void. It is operative as regards any of the children B, C or D, who attain the age of 25 within 18 years after A's death].

1. Subs. by Act 21 of 1929, s. 14, for "wholly void".

2. Subs. by s. 14, ibid., for certain words.

3[116. Bequest to take effect on failure of prior bequest.-

Where by reason of any of the rules contained in sections 113 and 114, any bequest in favour of a person or of a class of persons is void in regard to such person or the whole of such class, any bequest contained in the same will and intended to take effect after or upon failure of such prior bequest is also void.]

Illustrations

(i) A fund is bequeathed to A for his life, and after his death to such of his sons as shall first attain the age of 25, for his life, and after the decease of such son to B. A and B survive the testator. The bequest to B is intended to take effect after the bequest to such of the sons of A as shall first attain the age of 25, which bequest is void under section 114. The bequest to B is void.

(ii) A fund is bequeathed to A for his life, and after his death to such of his sons as shall first attain the age of 25, and, if no son of A shall attain that age, to B. A and B survive the testator. The bequest to B is intended to take effect upon failure of the bequest to such of A's sons as shall first attain the age of 25, which bequest is void under section 114. The bequest to B is void.

3. Subs. by s. 14, ibid., for section 116.

1[117. Effect of direction for accumulation.-

(1) Where the terms of a will direct that the income arising from any property shall be accumulated either wholly or in part during any period longer than a period of eighteen years from the death of the testator, such direction shall, save as hereinafter provided, be void to the extent to which the period during which the accumulation is directed exceeds the aforesaid period, and at the end of such period of eighteen years the property and the income thereof shall be disposed of as if the period during which the accumulation has been directed to be made had elapsed.

(2) This section shall not effect any direction for accumulation for the purpose of-

(i) the payment of the debts of the testator or any other person taking any interest under the will, or

(ii) the provision of portions for children or remoter issue of the testator or of any other person taking any interest under the will, or

(iii) the preservation or maintenance of any property bequeathed; and such direction may be made accordingly.]

1. Subs. by Act 21 of 1929, s. 14, for section 117.

118. Bequest to religious or charitable uses.-

No man having a nephew or niece or any nearer relative shall have power to bequeath any property to religious or charitable uses, except by a will executed not less than twelve months before his death, and deposited within six months from its execution in some place provided by law for the safe custody of the wills of living persons:

2[Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to a Parsi.] Illustrations A having a nephew makes a bequest by a will not executed and deposited as required- for the relief of poor people; for the maintenance of sick soldiers; for the erection or support of a hospital; for the education and preferment of orphans; for the support of scholars; for the erection or support of a school; for the building and repairs of a bridge; for the making of roads; for the erection or support of a church; for the repairs of a church; for the benefit of ministers of religion; for the formation or support of a public garden; All these bequests are void.

2. Ins. by Act 51 of 1991, s. 6.



Indian Succession Act, 1925 Back




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