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The Indian Succession Act, 1925

Chapter VII.- Of the Duties of an Executor or Administrator

316. As to deceased's funeral.-

It is the duty of an executor to provide funds for the performance of the necessary funeral ceremonies of the deceased in a manner suitable to his condition, if he has left property sufficient for the purpose.

317. Inventory and account.-

(1) An executor or administrator shall, within six months from the grant of probate or letters of administration, or within such further time as the Court which granted the probate or letters may appoint, exhibit in that Court an inventory containing a full and true estimate of. all the property in possession, and all the credits, and also all the debts owing by any person to which the executor or administrator is entitled in that character; and shall in like manner, within one year from the grant or within such further time as the said Court may appoint, exhibit an account of the estate, showing the assets which have come to his hands and the manner in which they have been applied or disposed of.

The High Court may prescribe the form in which an inventory or account under this section is to be exhibited. If an executor or administrator, on being required by the Court to exhibit an inventory or account under this section, intentionally omits to comply with the requisition, he shall be deemed to have committed an offence under section 176 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

The exhibition of an intentionally false inventory or account under this section shall be deemed to be an offence under section 193 of that Code.

318. Inventory to include property in any part of India in certain cases.-

In all cases where a grant has been made of probate or letters of administration intended to have effect throughout 1[India] 2***, the executor or administrator shall include in the inventory of the effects of the deceased all his moveable and immoveable property situate in '[India], and the value of such property situate in each state shall be separately stated in such inventory, and the probate or letters of administration shall be chargeable with a fee corresponding to the entire amount or value of the property affected thereby wheresoever situate within 1[India].

1. Subs. by Act 3 of 1951, s. 3 and the Schedule, for "the States".

2. The words "of India" omitted by Act 48 of 1952, s. 3 and the Second Schedule

319. As to property of, and debts owing to, deceased.-

The executor or administrator shall collect, with reasonable diligence, the property of the deceased and the debts that were due to him at the time of his death.

320. Expenses to be paid before all debts.-

Funeral expenses to a reasonable amount, according to the degree and quality of the deceased, and death-bed charges, including fees for medical attendance, and board and lodging for one month previous to his death, shall be paid before all debts.

321. Expenses to be paid next after such expenses.-

The expenses of obtaining probate or letters of administration, including the costs incurred for or in respect of any judicialproceedings that may be necessary for administering the estate, shall be paid next after the funeral expenses and death-bed charges.

322. Wages for certain services to be next paid, and then other debts.-

Wages due for services rendered to the deceased within three months next preceding his death by any labourer, artizan or domestic servant shall next be paid, and then the other debts of the deceased according to their respective priorities (if any).

323. Save as aforesaid, all debts to be paid equally and rateably.-

Save as aforesaid, no creditor shall have a right of priority over another; but the executor or administrator shall pay all such debts as he knows of, including his own, equally and rateably as far as the assets of the deceased will extend.

324. Application of moveable property to payment of debts where domicile not in India.-

(1) If the domicile of the deceased was not in 1[India], the application of his moveable property to the payment of his debts is to be regulated by the law of 1[India].

(2) No creditor who has received payment of a part of his debt by virtue of sub-section (1) shall be entitled to share in the proceeds of the immoveable estate of the deceased unless he brings such payment into account for the benefit of the other creditors.

(3) This section shall not apply where the deceased was a Hindu, Muhammadan, Buddhist, Sikh or Jaina or an exempted person.


A dies, having his domicile in a country where instruments under seal have priority over instruments not under seal leaving moveable property to the value of 5,000 rupees, and immoveable property to the value of 10,000 rupees, debts on instruments under seal to the amount of 10,000 rupees, and debts on instruments not under seal to the same mount.

The creditors holding instruments under seal received half of their debts out of the proceeds of the moveable estate.

The proceeds of the immoveable estate are to be applied in payment of the debts on instruments not under seal until one-half of such debts have been discharged.

This will leave 5,000 rupees which are to be distributed rateably amongst all the creditors without distinction, in proportion to the amount which may remain due to them.

1. Subs. by Act 3 of 1951, s. 3 and the Schedule for "the States".

325. Debts to be paid before legacies.-

Debts of every description must be paid before any legacy.

326. Executor or administrator not bound to pay legacies without indemnity.-

If the estate of the deceased is subject to any contingent liabilities, an executor or administrator is not bound to pay any legacy without a sufficient indemnity to meet the liabilities whenever they may become due.

327. Abatement of general legacies.-

If the assets, after payment of debts, necessary expenses and specific legacies, are not sufficient to pay all the general legacies in full, the latter shall abate or be diminished in equal proportions, and, in the absence of any direction to the contrary in the will, the executor has no right to pay one legatee in preference to another, or to retain any money on account of a legacy to himself or to any person for whom he is a trustee.

328. Non-abatement of specific legacy when assets sufficient to pay debts.-

Where there is a specific legacy, and the assets are sufficient for the payment of debts and necessary expenses, the thing specified must be delivered to the legatee without any abatement.

329. Right under demonstrative legacy when assets sufficient to pay debts and necessary expenses.-

Where there is a demonstrative legacy, and the assets are sufficient for the payment of debts and necessary expenses, the legatee has a preferential claim for payment of Isis legacy out of the fund from which the legacy is directed to be paid until such fund is exhausted and if, after the fund is exhausted, part of the legacy still remains unpaid, he is entitled to rank for the remainder against the general assets as for a legacy of the amount of such unpaid remainder.

330. Rateable abatement of specific legacies.-

If the assets are not sufficent to answer the debtsand the specific legacies, an abatement shall be made from the latter rateably in proportion to their respective amounts.


A has bequeathed to B a diamond ring valued at 500 rupees, and to C a horse, valued at 1,000 rupees. It. is found necessary to sell all the effects of the testator; and his assets, after payment of debts, are only 1,000 rupees. Of this sum rupees 333-5-4 are to be paid to B, and rupees 666-10-8 to C.

331. Legacies treated as general for purpose of abatement.-

For the purpose of abatement, a legacy for life, a sum appropriated by the will to produce an annuity, and the value of an annuity when no sum has been appropriated to produce it, shall be treated as general legacies.

Indian Succession Act, 1925 Back

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