1.My brother, a Hindu, died intestate. we are only three sisters as his heirs as no male or female survivor in his family. His married wife who filed divorce petition which is pending. She is getting Maintenance of Rs. 30,000.00 per month from my late brother as per arrangement he made. She in in possession of the house of our brother.
2.My brother was an employee of big co. and he nominated us we three sisters as his nominees.
Question:1. whether the wife is entitle for any share in the house?
question-2.As her name has not been given as nominee can she make any claim for the amount of P.F, Gratuity etc.
question.3 whether we sisters are entitled for any share in the properties, movable or immovable, of our late brother?
question 4. How can we clear the matter and take our share from the properties.
Widow of a Hindu male person who died intestate is a Class I legal heir. On the other hand, sisters are Class II legal heirs of such persons.
If one or more Class I heir is/are alive then such Class I legal heir or heirs will get share in the property of such Hindu male dying intestate, to the exclusion of the Class II heirs.
Also note that you have mentioned that divorce petition filed by the wife of your brother is still pending, which means that the decree of divorce was yet to be passed. In view of this, wife of your brother is the only surviving Class I heir and she will be legally entitled to all property of your brother, to the exclusion of the sisters who are only Class II heirs. Sisters will not get any share in the property of the brother who has died intestate [in the absence of any will to the contrary].
Also note that nomination is not equivalent to will in respect of a property. A nominee is generally supposed to receive money as a “trustee” on behalf of the persons entitled thereto.
You have not clarified as to your brother’s PF was under which legal provisions. It appears to be under the Employees’ Provident Fund Act, 1952, though I am not sure (you have to check it). If it is so, then under the relevant Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme, 1952, if a member has a family at the time of making a nomination, the nomination shall be in favour of one or more persons belonging to his family. Any nomination made by such member in favour of a person not belonging to his family shall be invalid. Further, a fresh nomination shall be made by the member on his marriage and any nomination made before such marriage shall be deemed to be invalid. Now, under this Scheme, in the case of a male member, family means his wife, his children, whether married or unmarried, his dependant parents and his deceased son’s widow and children [Provided that if a member proves that his wife has ceased, under the personal law governing him or the customary law of the community to which the spouses belong, to be entitled to maintenance she shall no longer be deemed to be a part of the member’s family for the purpose of this Scheme, unless the member subsequently intimates by express notice in writing to the Commissioner that she shall continue to be so regarded].
If the above PF Scheme was applicable to your brother, then the sisters will not be part of the “family” as defined under the said Scheme, and therefore, any nomination made in favour of the sisters, while the wife was alive, would be invalid.
However, if the PF of your brother was governed by some other PF Rules, then you’ll have to check the relevant rules.
Thank you sir.
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