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Succession Planning

What Happens In Case Of Death Of The Karta?

In our previous units, we have learned that the 'Karta' of a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) is considered the head of the family. So, what happens if the Karta die. Let us discuss:


a) The Karta manages the family property, which is regarded as the joint property of all the coparceners. On the death of the Karta, his HUF can continue and the next senior-most coparcener of the family shall be the Karta. 


b) If under given circumstances, the senior-most coparcener is not in a position to discharge his obligation, then the next senior coparcener can be the Karta of HUF with mutual consent. 

Hence with mutual consent, the HUF can also appoint any coparcener as the manager.

The assessing income tax officer / income tax department should also be intimated about the death of the Karta and the appointment of the new Karta.


c) In case of death of a coparcener, his share in the property of a Joint Hindu family shall devolve by testamentary will or intestate succession, as the case may be, and not just by survivorship. 

A coparcener can bequeath only his share in the HUF property and not the entire property of the HUF.


d) In case the coparcener does not execute any Will, the property will devolve as per the rules of intestate succession applicable to Hindus under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, as stated below:

  • The daughter is allotted the same share as is allotted to a son;
  • The share of the pre-deceased son or a pre-deceased daughter, as they would have got had they been alive at the time of partition, shall be allotted to the surviving child of such pre-deceased son or of such pre-deceased daughter; and
  • The share of the predeceased child of a predeceased son or of a predeceased daughter, as such child would have got had he or she been alive at the time of the partition, shall be allotted to the child of such predeceased child of the pre-deceased son or a pre-deceased daughter, as the case may be.

These guidelines will help you to make right decisions while transferring assets and properties of a HUF. 


While doing this, don’t forget that the will must be in writing, signed by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses, who should also sign as witnesses on the Will. 


Also, note that any part of the property can’t be bequeathed to the signing witness.

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Units 16/25