14 – Intestate succession – Hindu woman

Full owner of property

Since 1956, as a Hindu woman, I am full owner of all the property that I have
– inherited (under or without will),
– got as a share on partition,
– as coparcener of HUF after 2005,
– got as maintenance,
– received as a gift,
– purchased,
– earned or acquired with my own earnings.

If I have not made a will, who will inherit my property and how much depends on (i) whether I have children or not, (ii) whether I am married or not, and (iii) the source of my ownership of inherited property. Succession to property of women of other religious faiths is very different.

Thus, if I have my self-earned properties, and properties inherited from my father, mother, father-in-law or husband, different persons will have different shares in different properties. I explain this below.

A. If I have children

If I have children, my property goes after me to my children and husband. If any son or daughter has died before me, his or her child will inherit what he or she would have got.

Thus, if I have husband, two sons, two daughters, mother, and father, the shares will be as follows

14A - Woman Intestate Succession - Table 1

If I am unmarried, and have children, whether adopted or my own, my children will inherit all my property.

B. Predeceased child

If my child is predeceased (that is, has died before me) and has spouse and children, the share that would get allotted to that child if alive will go to his children only. Thus, among these relatives, if I have predeceased son and daughter, both having spouses and children, their shares will be as follows:

Husband – 1/5, surviving son 1/5, surviving daughter 1/5, son and daughter of predeceased son – 1/10 each, and son and daughter of predeceased daughter – 1/10 each.

Their shares will be as follows:

14A - Woman Intestate Succession - Table 2

C. If I do not have any children or grandchildren

If I do not have any children, different rules apply according to the source of my ownership.

a) Property that I have inherited from my late husband, or my father-in-law

This will go to my husband’s heirs. Shares will be calculated as if my husband died immediately after me.

b) Property that I have inherited from my late father or mother,

This will go to my father’s heirs. Shares will be calculated as if my father died immediately after me.

c) All other property,i.e. earned, acquired with own income, received as gift etc. 

This will devolve (that is, pass on after death) in the following order
– my husband.
– my husband’s heirs (including children of his earlier marriage)
– my mother and father
– my father’s heirs (for example my own brothers and sisters)

D. Calculation of shares

1. If I have following relatives: Husband, and mother, father, brother and sister of both of us, their shares will be as follows
– Self-earned, gifted or partitioned property – my husband will inherit the whole property,
– Property inherited from my father – my mother will inherit the whole property (as my father’s heir),
– Property inherited from my mother – my brother – 1/2, my sister – 1/2 (as my father’s heirs),
– Property inherited from my husband and my father-in-law – my husband’s mother will inherit the property as (my husband’s heir).
Their shares will be as follows:

14A - Woman Intestate Succession - Table 3

 

2. If I am married and my relatives are: mother, father, brother and sister of me and my late husband, their shares will be as follows:
– Self-earned, gifted or partitioned property – my husband’s mother will inherit the whole property as my husband’s heir,
– Property inherited from my husband, father-in-law, father or mother – as in Group 1 above.
Their shares will be as follows:

14A - Woman Intestate Succession - Table 4

 

3. If I am married and my relatives are: Brother and sister of me and my late husband, their shares will be as follows:
– Self-earned, gifted or partitioned property – my husband’s brother 1/2, my husband’s sister – 1/2 (as my husband’s heirs).
– Property inherited from my father and mother – my brother – 1/2, my sister – 1/2 (as my father’s heirs).
– Property inherited from my husband and my father-in-law – my husband’s brother 1/2, my husband’s sister – 1/2 share (as my husband’s heirs).
Their shares will be as follows:

14A - Woman Intestate Succession - Table 5

 

4. If I am not married, and have mother, father, brother and sister, their shares will be as follows:
– Self-earned, gifted or partitioned property –mother – 1/2, father – 1/2,
– Property inherited from my father – my mother will inherit the whole property (as my father’s heir),
– Property inherited from my mother – brother – 1/2, sister – 1/2 share (as my father’s heirs).
Their shares will be as follows:

14 - Hindu woman Tables 6

5. If I am not married, and have mother, brother and sister, their shares will be as follows:
– Self-earned, gifted or partitioned property – my mother will inherit the whole property,
– Property inherited from my father – my mother will inherit the whole property (as my father’s heir),
– Property inherited from my mother –brother – 1/2, sister – 1/2 share (as my father’s heirs)
Their shares will be as follows:

14 - Hindu woman Tables 7

6. If I am not married, and have father, brother and sister, their shares will be as follows:
– Self-earned, gifted or partitioned property – my father will inherit the whole property,
– Property inherited from my mother or father – brother – 1/2, sister – 1/2 share (as my father’s heirs)
Their shares will be as follows:

14 - Hindu woman Tables 8

E. Important

If I am married and do not have children or grandchildren, and I have property acquired from my own funds or received on gift or partition, it will devolve upon my husband’s relatives as his heirs, and not on relatives on my side of the family. Under other personal laws, succession to property of a woman is same as a man. On her death, relatives of her side of family inherit.

F. I must make a will

If I am married and do not have children or grandchildren, I must make a will if
– I wish that relatives on my side of family should get my property, and
– I wish to avoid disputes over my property after me, especially between relatives on my side of family and my husband’s relatives.

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– Nilima Bhadbhade
https://in.linkedin.com/in/nilima-bhadbhade

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