The married daughters’ right in mother’s self-acquired property

Daughter's Share The married daughters' right in mother's self-acquired property

For a long time, the concept of succession or inheritance of property has been synonymous with how and what the son will get. Right of a son in the property of his father has always been a matter of concern and discussion. 

In a society which primarily rests on the patriarchal style of relationships, it is very heartening and interesting when people seek to understand or to discuss a question relating to the right of a woman (daughter) in the property of her mother. That’s one sure sign that we have progressed in the sphere of rights of woman.

Also Read: Division of Property Among Daughters and Daughters-In-Law

A woman, thankfully, is viewed as the absolute owner of her property.

  • She has the right to deal with her property in any manner.
  • As a necessary corollary to the above, we have moved a step further and also recognize the rights of the children in the property of their mother.
  • Daughters, even though married, have the right to inherit the property of their mother.  

Remember,

  • Law has always recognised a distinction between self-acquired and ancestral property.
  • It is there primarily to decide inheritance issues.
  • Under Hindu Law, a mother becomes the absolute owner of the property – whether she gets it through a Will or as a gift or by any other means. It becomes a self-acquired property for her.  
  • If the mother has inherited ancestral property from her father (i.e. maternal grandfather of her children), although the property is ancestral, it becomes the self-acquired property of the mother. 
  • Self-acquired property of a person can be disposed of by the person in any manner.
  • No legal heir has any right over such property during the lifetime of the person.
  • It is only if the person has died intestate; the question of right in his self-acquired property arises.
  • In the case of intestate succession, the devolution of property is governed by statutory or personal laws. For persons of Hindu faith, the relevant provision of law is found in the Hindu Succession Act. 
  • During the lifetime of the mother, married daughter has no right to seek her property.

Under Hindu Law, daughters have equal rights as sons in the property of their mother.

Also Read: Daughters have equal shares in Ancestral Property, even though they were born before enactment of the Hindu Succession Act – A Judgement by Supreme Court

For right in the self-acquired property of a mother, it is essential to understand two things:

  • All the property acquired by a woman becomes self-acquired property.
  • Self-acquired property can be disposed of in any manner.
  • Any right in the self-acquired property arises whenever the person dies intestate

If a Hindu mother dies intestate, the property gets devolved as per the Hindu Succession Act.

The Act says that the property of a woman gets devolved to 

  • her children
  • the children of predeceased children 
  • her husband 

All these three legal heirs inherit equally.

There is no distinction in the Act for married or unmarried daughters. Thus whether the daughter is married or unmarried, she gets equal rights in the self-acquired property of her mother along with her brother and husband of the deceased woman. 

Read Also: Property Rights of Indian Daughters

The property of a mother also includes any share of the mother in her father’s ancestral property. Once this property is partitioned and the mother gets her share, the share becomes self-acquired property. Even if the mother has died before partition, her children can claim this share later after partition. 

In the eyes of the law, Married daughters can enforce their right by filing a suit in the court for devolution of property as per the Hindu Succession Act.

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.

Married Woman’s Share In Father’s Property

Married Woman’s Share In Father’s Property

Marriage is a sacramental union in Hindu Law.  But most of the rules and guidelines in this union are laid down for married women only.

With the passage of time, married women are trying to balance this union with both husband and wives enjoying equality in marriage. Married women are becoming aware of their rights as wives, mothers and married daughters.

Married women’s rights include:

  • right of inheritance in parent’s property
  • the right of maintenance for herself and her children
  • right against domestic violence
  • right to residence
  • right against polygamy

The list is not exhaustive and can be altered with changing times and social conditions.

Undoubtedly, the gender equality comes more with equal financial rights than anything else. The study of laws related to married women’s right in the property of her parents and her husband becomes significant.

Hindu Succession Act, 1956

  • Hindu Succession Act, 1956 – Hindu Succession Act contains provisions for intestate (the property for which there is no will) succession among heirs and applies to all who are Hindus under the provisions of Act.
  • The Act recognizes the concept of HUF (Hindu Undivided Family), which is a group of lineal descendants of a common ancestor. First four generations (only male members of HUF) are called coparceners and these coparceners acquire an interest in the coparcenary property by birth.
  • Coparcenary property is a property which has passed undivided from a common ancestor to four generations. Both ancestral and self-acquired property (which is pooled in joint property) can be coparcenary property.
  • The wives and daughters of coparceners also have a share in the undivided property but not the birthright in the undivided joint property. They are members of HUF but not coparceners.

Married Women’s Rights (Right of a Married daughter in her father’s property) under Hindu Succession Act, 2005

Once the daughter is married, she ceases to be part of HUF and loses any right in the father’s property. But now there has been an Amendment in the Act in 2005, and it has brought sea changes in the position of daughter:

  • The daughter shall also be a coparcener by birth, e. she inherits equally as other coparceners in the undivided joint family property. Earlier the daughter was only a member of HUF and not a coparcener. It means she was not entitled to seek partition. Now she is a coparcener and has same rights and liabilities as a son. (Only daughters can be admitted in coparcenary after amendment. Wives, mother and widows are still not part of coparcenary)
  • Daughter is now on equal footing with a son as both have a birthright in coparcenary property
  • Daughter can ask for partition, and she has an equal share in the property
  • The daughter living or dead on the date of Amendment (9th September 2005) has share in her father’s property – thus her children can claim if she is dead.
  • In February 2018, in a judgment, it has been made clear by Supreme Court of India that the benefits of the amendment will be available to all women whether born before or after the date of the amendment. The marital status of the daughter also will not make any difference. Thus women can file suit for the partition to claim their share in father’s property.

Now women enjoy rights in the property of their father by birth. Marital status makes no difference. In the case of the self-acquired property of the father, both sons and daughters enjoy equal rights. Thus married woman’s right in their father’s property is similar to that of a son.

Property Rights of Indian Daughters

Property Rights of Indian Daughters

The property rights for Indian daughters were different until the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, but were amended in 2005. Earlier, only the sons had complete power over the father’s property. Daughters enjoyed the property right only till they got married. After marriage, a daughter was considered a part of her husband’s family.

The Hindu Undivided Family(HUF):

Under the Hindu law, a HUF is a group including more than one person, all lineal descendants of a common predecessor/ancestor. The term HUF is applied to people of Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, or Sikh faith. Currently, the present laws keep the daughters in consideration and take care of their interests too.

What are the Laws for different faith that favors daughters in their fathers’ properties?

Daughters’ rights as per Hindu Succession Act, 2005

  • According to the above Act, every daughter, whether married or unmarried, is now considered a member of her father’s HUF.
  • She has now also obtained the right to be appointed as a manager/karta to her father’s HUF property.
  • Daughters have the same rights, duties, disabilities and liabilities that were earlier limited only to the sons.
  • However, a daughter can avail the benefits granted by the amendment only if her father passed away after 9/9 2005.
  • The daughters are now eligible to be a co-sharer mainly if the father and the daughter were alive on 9/9/ 2005.
  • Daughters have equal right to be coparceners. A coparcenary includes the eldest member of a family and three generations.. The coparceners obtain a right by birth over the coparcenary property.
  • A member of the coparcenary can further sell his /her share in the coparcenary to a third party, so can a daughter if she’s a Coparcener.
  • A daughter unlike the son can now as a coparcener have the right to demand the partition of her father’s property/business/house.

 Muslim daughters’ property right

  • Quranic/ Muslim laws of inheritance are extraordinarily specific. The Muslim Law provides the daughters with the right to maintenance and shelter in their parent’s house till the time they get married.
  • As per the Muslim law, both under sects Sunni and Shia, a daughter is entitled to succeed to the property of the parents, yet there are customs and statutes, the operation of which excludes a daughter from inheritance.
  • The Muslim customs and statutes are treated as valid and daughters as non-existent at the time of opening of the succession.

The property right of a Christian daughter

  • According to Christian Law, a daughter inherits equally irrespective of the fact whether she has siblings or not.
  • She also has the complete right to the personal property upon attaining majority.