When Bajirao died, his eldest son Balaji Bajirao, also known as Nana Saheb, had not reached the age of nineteen. But Shahu treated all posts as hereditary and as far as possible he usually preferred to appoint the legal heir of a deceased official. By this practice, he strengthened the roots of a hereditary military aristocracy. Thus the succession of Balaji Bajirao to the post of the Peshwa was a settled fact.
Even then the enemies of the deceased Peshwa tried to unsettle the settled fact. Raghuji Bhonsle proposed the name of Babuji Nayak Joshi. But Shahu regarded it as height of ingratitude to overlook the claims of the family of the last two Peshwas and on June 25, 1740 he unhesitatingly offered the Peshwaship to Balaji Bajirao.
Though still within his teens, Balaji was not without experience of war and government and was greatly influenced by the personality of his uncle Chimnaji. But unfortunately for him Chimnaji also died only six months later in January, 1741. This came as a great blow to the power of Bajirao.