Sufficient after death planning is required to ensure that your property reaches the right hands. This is more important especially in the case of immovable property. For e.g. when living in a flat, based on cooperative law of the state, nomination of the house in case of death is required. However, nomination is not the same as will.
Nomination only results in transfer of the name in records of the housing society. However, it does not make the nominee the owner of the house. The law for succession depends on whether the deceased has left a will or not. Hindus are governed by the Hindu succession act. The rest of the population is governed by Indian succession act, 1925.
Succession through will: People who come under Hindu Succession Act, can bequeath their property to anyone. In such cases, it is mandatory for the executor of the will to obtain a probate from the court for assets.
Succession without will: In case deceased owner does not leave behind a will, the legal heirs will inherit the assets as per Hindu succession act, 1956. Based on this, the first preference is given to class I legal heirs which includes parents, spouse, children, and their successors. Even spouse has one share in the property. However, in case of multiple spouses, all have rights to the same share.
When a house has been left without a will, a female heir can stay in the property. However, she cannot call for partition. Despite leaving a will, it is necessary for the legal heirs to obtain succession certificate from the court. In order to obtain a succession certificate, an application needs to be made with high court.