Division of Property Among Daughters and Daughters-In-Law

Division of Property Among Daughters and Daughters-In-Law

Daughters and daughter – in – laws are on different footing when it comes to shares they receive on division of property in a family. Devolution of property by inheritance or succession is influenced by personal laws and is governed by various statutes.

Position of daughters: Equal right as a son

In the case of Hindus (Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists) division of property is governed by Hindu Succession Act, 1956.

Hindu law recognises the concept of a Hindu Undivided family. Only males up to four generations (lineal descendants from a common ancestor) are coparceners, and all others are members of the family. After the amendment of 2005 in the 1956 Act, daughter whether married or unmarried is a coparcener. After marriage, daughter ceases to be a member of father’s HUF but still, she is a coparcener. A daughter has the rights and liabilities of a coparcener.

  • She can demand partition, has a birthright in the undivided family property.
  • She can be a Karta also, i.e. head of the family if she is the eldest coparcener.
  • If the daughter dies intestate, her share in the HUF property passes by succession to her legal heirs as per section 15 of the 1956 Act.
  • A daughter is a coparcener but a daughter in-law is only a member of joint family.

In case of self-acquired property of the father, son or daughter has no birthright in the same. If the father dies intestate, devolution of property takes place as per rules of 1956 Act under which daughter is covered as Class I heir and has an equal right along with son and other legal heirs.

Read: Do grandchildren have a right to their grandfather’s property?

Daughters also have a share in mother’s property. Daughters and sons have equal rights in the property of their mother.

Position of daughter- in- law: Limited Rights

A daughter in law has no right in the ancestral or self-acquired property of her in-laws.

After the death of her husband, i.e. as a widow, she has the right in her husband’s property left behind by him. This property can be either ancestral or self-acquired. The right acquired by her is as a widow of the deceased husband.

Thus if a father dies intestate, a daughter has an equal right in his property along with her brother, but the daughter in law has no right in the property of her father- in law till the time her husband is alive. After the death of her husband, she is entitled to get the share in the property of her husband along with his other legal heirs.

Read: Property rights of a daughter in a hindu family

The daughter in law has a right to residence only till the time matrimonial relationship exists with her husband. The right of residence is there even if the house is a rented accommodation. If the property is a self-acquired property of her father in law, daughter in law has no right of residence as the said house is not shared house because the husband has no share in it.

A widowed daughter in law has right of maintenance from her father in law under certain conditions only, as prescribed in Hindus Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956.

Division of property:

When there is a division of property in a joint Hindu Family, the daughters enjoy equal right along with sons. The daughter in law has no right in the property of her in-laws. She acquires rights to the in-law’ property only through her husband.

The daughter in one family becomes daughter in law in another family after her marriage. She has full rights in the property of her father even after marriage but limited rights in the property of her in-laws.

Family Settlement for Property Disputes – Part II

Family Settlement for Property Disputes – Part II

Irrespective of the social or economic status of families, disputes over property are common. Most people prefer rushing to court rather than making efforts to solve these issues in amicable manners. Family settlement on the property is more advisable and definitely a better way to resolve these issues.

Read: Family settlement for property disputes in India – Part I

This process involves a logical and peaceful adjustment that members of a family make so that they may avoid court cases. This could be related to both property and movable assets.

How does the Legal settlement on property in India work?

  • Now, before a case is filed in court for property partition, a legal notice has to be sent to the other co-owners of the property regarding family property partition/settlement.
  • The statutory notice for partition action must declare the shares of each co-owner, complete details of the property in dispute and the requisite action required to be taken.
  • If there is no reply from the co-owners or the response is insufficient, legal notice or a partition suit can be filed in the court.
  • A partition case is filed when none of the co-owners agrees to the terms and conditions of property partition, and one or more co-owners wish to distribute the property as per their shares.
  • A suit for partition is filed in that court which has jurisdiction over that area where the property is.
  • The court first decides whether the person who has filed the partition suit has a rightful claim in the property or not.
  • When the share is confirmed, no additional inquiry is required and the court then assigns individual ownership of the property to the rightful owners.
  • If the property fails to be distributed on the partition suit, the court can call for interrogation and give a preliminary decision for electing a commissioner who will then assess the property and submit a report.
  • The court after that decides the share of each co-owner by the given report and divides the property as per the share of each co-owner.

What are the legal requirements of family settlement on property?

  • Few legal formalities must be performed to ensure that the agreement is valid.
  • The settlement document has to have signatures of all the family members.
  • A single signature missing can become ground for disputing the document in court at a later date.
  • The document can be attested by two witnesses, though it is not mandatory.
  • The next step is to register the agreement.
  • The Indian Registration Act, Section- 17 a family settlement that implies to assign immovable property must be mandatorily registered, or the deed would be invalid.
  • Stamp duty applies to such deeds, and the amount would depend on the value of the property involved.