The following are the main points of distinction between the Mitakshara and dayabhaga systems of inheritance:
- The Bengal school divides heirs into three classes, namely: (1) Sapindas; (2) Sakulyas; and (3) Samanodakas. The Sapindas of Bengal school are the sapindas of the Mitakshara school within four degrees only, plus bandhus of the Mitakshara school, but not all the The sakulyas of the Bengal school are the sapindas of Mitakshara school from the fifth to the seventh degree. The samanodakas of the Bengal School are the same as those of Mitakshara school, that is, relations from the eighth to the fourteenth degree.
- Generally speaking, under Dayabhaga law, no bandhhu or cognate can inherit while there is any gotraja sapinda or samanodaka in existence. Under Dayabhaga law, cognates come in with the agnates, and they inherit before sakulyas and samanodakas;
- Cognatic heirs under Mitakshara law are limited in number, compared to those under Dayabhaga law. Every person, who is a cognatic heir under Dayabhaga law, is also a cognatic heir under Mitakshara law, but there arer some relatives who are cognatic heirs under Mitakshara law, but are not recognised as such under Dayabhaga law. The doctrine of spiritual efficacy, which is the governing principle of succession under Dayabhaga law, accounts for the exclusion of the latter;
- ‘Sapinda’, according to Mitakshara, means a person connected through the same panda or body; according to Dayabhaga, it means a person connected through the same panda or funeral cake presented to the manes of ancestors at the parvana sraddha ceremony.