Every law of succession defines the rules of distribution of property in case a person dies without making a will. The Christian Law of Succession is governed by the provisions in the Indian Succession Act, 1925. However, with respect to Indian Christians, the diversity in inheritance laws is greatly intensified by making domicile a criterion for determining the application of laws.
S. 33, S. 33-A, S. 34 of the Act govern succession to the widow. Together they lay down that if the deceased has left behind both a widow and lineal descendants, she will get one-third share in his estate while the remaining two-thirds will go to the latter. If no lineal descendants have been left but other kindred are alive, one-half of the estate passes to the widow and the rest to the kindred. And if no kindred are left either, the whole of the estate shall belong to his widow. Where, however, the intestate has left a widow but no lineal descendants, and the net value of his property does not exceed five thousand rupees, the whole of the property will go to the widow - but this provision does not apply to Indian Christians.
S. 35 lays down the rights of the widower of the deceased. It says quite simply that he shall have the same rights in respect of her property as she would in the event that he predeceased her (intestate)