Inheritance law in Pakistan is a set of rules and regulations that control how individuals get assets from the estate of a deceased relative. These provisions ensure that beneficiaries get some kind of inheritance if a will is never created or does not cover all of the deceased person’s possessions. Succession is the process of settling a dead person’s inheritance and passing the property to those who inherit after debts have been paid. “Succession” can also mean someone’s inheritance if they die without a successor.
Succession Law in Pakistan
The Succession Act was made so that people who depended on a person who had died but was not taken care of in their will would not be treated unfairly. Pakistan is a Muslim-majority country, and the country’s constitution stipulates that Islamic law governs all legislation. As a consequence, it is necessary to construct an Islamic inheritance law in Pakistan. In the absence of a comprehensive inheritance code or legislation, the courts rely on traditional Islamic inheritance laws, which vary by Muslim sect. In Pakistan, inheritance, and succession are ruled by the Succession Act of 1925 and Section 4 of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance of 1961. Depending on which Muslim sect you belong to, the Islamic regulations on inheritance vary. The two primary kinds of inheritance law are Sunni law and Shi’ite law.
National laws apply to receive the propositus’ inherited property. Transfers of moveable and immovable property are governed by the federal Succession Act of 1925 and the provincial Letters of Administration and Succession Certificates Act of 2020. The Letters of Administration and Succession Certificates Act ensures that succession certificates and letters of administration are issued on a timely basis. Section 3 of the Act sets up a Succession Facilitation Unit at NADRA offices to handle and analyze requests for letters of administration and succession certificates and to keep an online record-keeping portal. The application for letters of administration must include the deceased’s death certificate, a list of legal heirs and copies of their national ID cards, a legal heirs’ permission in favor of the applicant, and information about the immovable and moveable property. Such an application requires an objection claim. If no claim is made under the 1925 Succession Act, NADRA sends out a letter of administration or a certificate of succession.
The Succession Act of 1925 says that if someone has a problem with a letter of administration or a succession certificate of Pakistan, they must file an application with the District Judge or High Court that has the same jurisdiction. Section 278 governs the application for a letter of administration, while Section 276 governs the application for a grant of probate. Any objections to such an application must likewise be filed with the court and presented to it. The court also has the authority to question the applicant in person, order more proof, and issue citations to anybody with a stake in the property. Sections 289 and 290 of the Act say that an administration or probate letter must be sealed by the Court.
Similarly, according to Sec. 371, district judges have the competence to hear petitions for succession certificates under the same Act. The application must include the date the person died, where they lived, their family or close relatives, the petitioner’s claim, proof that there are no problems, and the obligations and securities for which the succession certificate is to be given. Following receipt of such an application, the Court, after ascertaining that there are sufficient reasons to consider the case, shall set a hearing date and issue notifications of the same. At the completion of such a hearing, the court will issue a succession certificate.
Sunni inheritance law
Sunni law recognizes sharir, residuary, and distant kindreds. Quranic heirs, or sharers, are entitled to an inheritance. Residuary doesn’t accept a share but inherits the residual when sharers’ rights are met. When no sharers or residuary exist, distant kindreds inherit.
Shia inheritance law
Heirs are split into two categories in Shia law: sabab, or special clause, and nasab, or blood link, which is further subdivided into legal relationships and married heirs. Grandparents; brothers, sisters, and their offspring; paternal and maternal uncles and aunts. Shia law exclusively recognizes sharers and residuary, as opposed to the Sunni Law of Inheritance. Only nine stockholders are recognized under Shia law. The sharers’ descendants are likewise recognized as sharers. Everyone who isn’t a sharer is considered a resident. The allocation of assets among shareholders is shown in the table below.