What are the powers of a Hindu executor or admin­istrator of the estate of a deceased Hindu?

Before the passing of the Hindu Wills Act, 1870 the estate of the deceased Hindu did not vest in his executor: even if probate was granted to him. He was not the legal representative of the deceased person but only the manager of the estate with similar power to that of a manager of the estate of the minor, unless the will gave him greater powers. But neither the executor nor the administrator had any right as are conferred upon them by the Indian Succession Act, 1925.

A Hindu executor has power to dispose of property of a deceased vested in him. In the case of immovable property this power is subject to the will unless he has obtained probate of the will and also leaves from the Court which granted him the probate.

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An administrator has power to dispose of the property of the deceased vested in him. In case of immovable property he cannot mortgage it or charge it or transfer it by sale, gift, exchange or otherwise or grant a lease for a term more than 5 years unless he has obtained the permission of the Court which granted him the letters of administration to do so.

Construction of will:

The construction of the will means the intention of the testator of the will. In determining the con­struction of a will we must look to the intention of the testator. Primarily the words of the will are to be considered. They convey expression of the testator’s wishes. They may be affected by the surrounding circumstances, i.e., the position of the testator, his family relationships, and the probability that he would use words in a particular sense.

In constructing-the will of a Hindu, it is proper to take into consideration the ordinary notions and wishes of Hindus with respect to devolution of property such as he desires that the ancestral property must be retained by his family.

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