The property will devolve upon all heirs of your grandfather since he was the title holder before death and he has not left specific bequests to anyone. So such property will be equally shared between your father and his siblings and others as mentioned in the class of heirs under Hindu Succession Act
The following is a chart that will help you understand the number of heirs and the priority of succession enjoyed by them. Since I Do not have the entire family tree you might find the following chart helpful in determining who all can claim a stake to the property. Please note that even though I am putting up an elaborate chart you would probably find all your answers within the first class itself since according to you, your grandfather died with many heirs in the class I of heirs alive.
Heirs of a Hindu Male
The heirs of Hindu male fall under the following categories:-
1) Class I heirs,
2) Class II heirs,
4) Cognates, and
Class I heirs:-
The property of a Hindu Male dying intestate would be given first to heirs within Class I. They are:
v. Widow of a predeceased son,
vi. Son of a predeceased son,
vii. Daughter of a predeceased son,
viii. Widow of a predeceased son of a predeceased son,
ix. Daughter of a predeceased son of a predeceased son,
x. Son of a predeceased son of a predeceased son,
xi. Daughter of a predeceased daughter, and
xii. Son of a predeceased daughter.
Some new heirs are added by Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005. They are:
i. Son of a predeceased daughter of a predeceased daughter,
ii. Daughter of a predeceased daughter of a predeceased daughter,
iii. Daughter of a predeceased son of a predeceased daughter, and
iv. Daughter of a predeceased daughter of a predeceased son.
Shares of Class I heirs :
Section 10, Hindu Succession Act deals with the distribution of the property of the propositus, among class I heirs. The rules are:
A.] Sons, daughters and the mother of the propositus each take one share.
If ‘P’ dies leaving behind his Mother ‘M’, two sons S1 and S2 and two
Daughters D1 and D2, each of the above heirs will take one share, i.e., 1/5th
-‘M’ will take 1/5th ;
- D1 and D2 each will also take 1/5th &
- S1 and S2 each will take one fifth.
B.] Widow takes1 share. If there are more than one widow, all of them together take one
Share and among themselves they divide it equally.
‘P’ dies leaving behind a widow, ‘W’ and three daughters ‘D’, ‘D1’, and
‘D2’. Here each will take one share, i.e. 1/4th to each.
-‘W’ will take 1/4th,
-‘D’, ‘D1’ &‘D2’ each will take 1/4th .
C.] Among the heirs of the branches of a predeceased son, son of a predeceased son of a
Predeceased son and predeceased daughter, so here the doctrine of representation applies
i.e. heirs in each branch would take the same share which their parent would have taken.
So, we see above three rules in the following example:
If ‘P’ dies leaving behind son ‘S’, widow of a predeceased son ‘S1’, ‘SW’,
Predeceased daughter’s son and daughter ‘DS’ and ‘DD’, predeceased son’s
Predeceased son’s widow ‘SSW’, his daughter ‘SSD’ and his son ‘SSS’.
Distribution is first to be made at a place where branches come into existence.
There are four branches, each will take 1/4th share i.e.
- ‘S’ will take 1/4th .In the branch of ‘S1’ there is only one heir ‘SW’, she
representing ‘S1’ will take 1/4th .
- In the branch of predeceased daughter, there are two heirs, they representing her
will take 1/4th and between themselves divide it equally, with result that ‘DS’
will take 1/8th and ‘DD’ will take 1/8th .
- In the branch of predeceased grandson, there are three heirs, representing him
they will take 1/4th & among themselves share it equally, with the result that
‘SSW’, ‘SSD’&‘SSS’ each will take 1/12th.
Class II heirs and their shares:
If there are no heirs in Class I, the property will given to the heirs within Class II. They are divided into nine categories. The rule is that an heir in an earlier category excludes heirs in later category. Further all heirs in one category take simultaneously per capita share. They are as follows:
1] Category I -
2] Category II -
a) Son’s daughter’s son.
b) Son’s daughter’s daughter.
3] Category III -
a) Daughter’s son’s son.
b) Daughter’s son’s daughter.
c) Daughter’s daughter’s son.
d) Daughter’s daughter’s daughter.
4] Category IV -
a) Brother’s son.
b) Brother’s daughter.
c) Sister’s son.
d) Sister’s daughter.
5] Category V -
a) Father’s father.
b) Father’s mother.
6] Category VI -
a) Father’s widow. [Step mother].
b) Brother’s widow.
7] Category VII -
a) Father’s brother.
b) Father’s sister.
8] Category VIII -
a) Mother’s father.
b) Mother’s mother.
9] Category IX –
a) Mother’s brother.
b) Mother’s sister.