Who is a Legal Representative

Res Nullius, is a legal maxim that means things belonging to no one. It is said that a property can never be left in the state of Res Nullius, which means that the property must belong to somebody at some point in time but never be left without an owner.

Still, there are a few situations when the property can be put in a Res Nullius state. One such situation is when a person dies while leaving a property, and if there arises any suit concerning such property, the question arises: who will represent that property?

Bare Act PDFs

Therefore, a legal representative is a person who, by law, represents the property of a deceased person.

Let us now understand more about legal representatives.

Legal Representative Under CPC

Section 2(11) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 defines legal representative. It simply states that a legal representative is a person who, in law, represents the estate of the deceased person.

Further, as per section 2(11) of CPC, legal representative also includes any person who interferes (intermeddle) with the estate of the deceased, and when someone represents a party in litigation or is sued on their behalf, the person whose estate is left after the party’s death.

Must Read: What Is Estate Planning and Its Importance?

Bare Act PDFs

Examples of Legal Representatives

Some examples of legal representatives are:

  • Hindu coparceners
  • Executors
  • Administrators
  • Residuary legates
  • Reversioners

Examples who are not Legal Representatives

Here are some examples of persons who are not legal representatives:

  • Trespassers
  • Official assignee
  • Creditors
  • Succeeding trustee
  • Receiver

Extent of Liability of Legal Representative

Section 50 of the Civil Procedure Code provides the extent of liability of legal representatives. According to section 50(2), the legal representative shall be liable only to the extent of the property of the deceased that has come to his hands.

Enforcement of Decree Against Legal Representative

Section 52 of the Civil Procedure Code provides for the enforcement of a decree against the legal representative of a deceased person. It provides that if a decree is made against a party acting as the deceased person’s legal representative and if such decree is for the payment of money out of the deceased person’s property, it can be carried out by attaching and selling the property.

Case Law Relating to Legal Representative

Custodian of Branches of Banco National Ultramarino vs Nalini Bai Naique, AIR 1989 SC 1589: The Supreme Court, in this case, held the definition of legal representative. The court held that the definition of legal representative is inclusive and is not confined to legal heirs only. The scope of the definition is broad and it includes heirs (successors) as well as persons who represent the estate of the deceased.

Ankita Soni
WritingLaw » Law Q&A » Who Is a Legal Representative? Law Study Material
If you are a regular reader, please consider buying the Law PDFs and MCQ Tests. You will love them. You may also support us with any amount you like. Thank You.