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


Vesting of estate in executor and their power.The executor or administrator, as the case may be, of a deceased Hindu, is his legal representative for all purposes and all the property of the deceased vests in him as such (S.21, Indian Succession Act, 1925). An executor or administrator hag power to dispose of all or any of the property for the time being vested in him. But the power of an executor to dispose of immovable property is subject to any restrictions contained in the will unless he has obtained probate of the will and also leave of the Court (notwithstanding such restrictions to dispose of such property). Similarly without the leave of the Court an administrator cannot alienate, or grant lease of immovable property for a term exceeding five years. (S. 307, Indian Succession Act).
Construction of will.The phrase that "the Court is entitled to put itself into the testator's arm chair", means that in constructing a will the intention of the testator is to be looked to and the primary duty of the court is to ascertain from the words of the will what the intention of the testator was. But the meaning to be attached to the words of the will may be affected by surrounding circumstances, the position of the testator, his family relations, the probability that he would use particular words in particular sense and many other things which are often summed up in the picturesque figure of speech. "The Court is entitled to put itself into the testator's armchair". The Supreme Court in Arunachalas Murtiganatha, (AIR 1963 SC 495), held that a Mitakshara father had complete power of disposition of his self-acquired property' and if he. made any deed of gift in favour of his son or some other relation, there would be no presumption that the bequest was to confer the nature of a joint family so that the property bequeathed become ancestral in the hands of the legatee unless there were express words to indicate the same. In GAppastvami v. R. Sarangapani, (AIR 1978.1. & K.); where a Hindu testator provided in his will that the charities mentioned in list II were to be performed by the testator's third wife S and after S by his daughter R and after her sons and grandsons, failing them by her female heirs and if they are right available by 5 and his "Putra Pautra Santhathies" permanently from generation to generation has held that the words "Putra Pautra Santhathies" would indicate son, grandson and descendants and the word Pautra is not confined only' to children born of the body of R, but would include, the adopted son and their descendants.