As per the law, in case a person dies interstate, his property moves or can be claimed by his Class-I heirs that include:
- Son of a predeceased son
- Daughter of predeceased son
- Widow of predeceased son
- Son of a predeceased daughter
- Daughter of predeceased daughter
- Son of predeceased so of predeceased son
- Daughter of predeceased son of a predecease.
In the absence of the above, the property moves to the Class-II heirs.
In the case of a legal second marriage, the property can be claimed by children of the second wife, too. However, if it happens when the husband has not divorced his previous wife or the wife is living and the man remarries, the second marriage is taken to be null and void. The children born of this second union must be maintained by the parents but they are not preferred inheritors or coparceners.
However, the Supreme Court has opined that children born of a second marriage can claim father’s property even if the marriage itself might be void. But, the second wife cannot claim the property in case the marriage was solemnized when the first wife was living or wasn’t divorced.
While children born of the second wife have right on their parent’s property, they do not have a direct right on the joint ancestral property, especially if the second marriage occurred without divorcing the first wife. The children are, however, understood to be legitimate and can be coparceners in father’s ancestral property if he dies intestate.
What happens when two wives claim the share altogether?
In a recent judgement, the right of the first wife was upheld.
Sheetaldeen (husband) was deserted by his first wife Sukhrana Bai and thereafter he married Vidyadhari with whom he had four children. Sheetaldeen had made Vidyadhari his nominee and all benefits that came out of his employment was reserved for her. She could also claim succession certificate for her four children. However, when both wives filed succession certificates, after Sheetaldeen’s demise, while the trial court was in favor of the second wife, the Madhya Pradesh High Court favored the first wife.