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Inheritance Law for Women in India

Inheritance Law for Women in India

What is inheritance? 

section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act defines inheritance, also called succession, as the devolution of property to an heir or heirs upon the death of the owner. The term inheritance also designates the property itself. In modern society, the process is regulated in minute detail by law.

Inheritance is a term which is used exclusively with the context of succession. When an individual person dies then their property, title, debt and obligations is given to their heir. Whereas different types of society treat inheritance totally differently, immovable property and tangible goods are treated as an inheritance. 

Hindu Succession Act 1956, have equal rights over the father’s property to be shared with the mother and grandmother

Can the ancestral property be gifted?

Ancestral property means the property of our ancestors. Property of our ancestors i.e ancestral property can only be gifted when the following conditions are met:

  • It is required by law.
  • In order to protect the family assets
  • With approval from all of the family’s cohabitants. 

The Apex Court recently ruled that the Karta is free to give their property away for religious and charitable reasons. The apex court has decided that gifting the property “out of affection” is not covered by acts of charity.

Can daughters claim their father’s property after marriage?

The Hindu Succession Act 1956, got and in Section 6 (1) (a) of the Amendment Act, 2005 amended and the daughter was granted identical property rights which was priory only enjoyed by the sons over their deceased father according to Hindu Succession Act, 2005 and daughters were allowed to enjoy this only till they are unmarried. It was believed that after the marriage the woman belongs to another family i.e their husband’s family therefore, has privileges in an entirely different Hindu Undivided Family (HUF). Daughters who are now married or single have equal access to their father’s property as their siblings do. Additionally, they have the same rights to obligations and liabilities as their siblings.  if on September 9, 2005, both the father and the daughter were still living. Whether or not the father was living on this date, the SC ruled in 2018 that a daughter could inherit her deceased father’s assets. Women were then welcomed to participate in coarsening. They are entitled to request a piece of the father’s estate. Daughters have the right to inherit their parents’ self-acquired property as well as any other property of which they are absolute owners, the Supreme Court ruled in 2022. It also stated that this rule would apply even in situations where a daughter’s parents passed away intestate before the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 was codified. 

Share of married daughters in father’s property

What portion of their father’s property can married girls inherit? In the judgement given by the Supreme Court in Vineeta sharma vs Rakesh sharma case, it is ruled that both daughters and sons have equal rights over the ancestral property of the father. But this doesn’t mean that after the death of the parent, the assets will be split equally between a sister and a brother. Inheritance laws also confer rights to other family members on the deceased property and according to the relevant inheritance rules, the assets or property will be divided based on each heir’s share. A daughter who is married also shares equal rights in her father’s assets or property merely indicates that she will receive the equal share that her brother is claiming.

In the case of Vineeta Sharma vs. Rakesh Sharma & Ors., which was heard on August 11, 2020, the Supreme Court further clarified a Hindu woman’s right to be a joint legal successor and receive inheritance rights comparable to those of male heirs.

What will happen to land or property that single women inherit?

Apex Court(S Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari, JJ case): Acquired or inherited property of childless lady dying intestate. 

If a female dies without making a will i.e intestate then her all property will go to the heir of her father, whereas whatever property is inherited by her father-in-law and husband will go to the heirs of her husband, Apex court observed this while giving the verdict of  S Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari, JJ case. According to Section 15(1)(a) of the Succession Act, married women who pass away leaving behind their spouse and children will leave behind all of their assets, including any she inherited from her parents.

Mother’s inheritance privileges in relation to her son’s property

The legal heir of the deceased son is her mother. So, if a guy dies leaving behind his mother, wife, and kids, they all have an equal claim to his property. The mother’s share of her son’s property will transfer to her legal heirs, which includes her other children, if she dies without leaving a will. 

No distinction exists between blood and adopted children: Karnatak High Court

Child was born after five days of the agreement being made. Biological parents are hindu whereas adoptive parents were muslims. Due to poverty they entered into the agreement and no money was exchanged at the time of adoption.Due to their financial situation, the child’s biological parents stepped forward to place the child for adoption when instead they could have turned the child over to the appropriate authority for the child’s welfare. Even if that wasn’t feasible, they could have taken care of things by enrolling the child in government-run schools, and the government has since introduced a number of programs to cover their daily necessities. HC dismissed the plea and said that both the parents have violated the rights of child guaranteed under the provisions of Article 21 of constitution of India.

In November 2022 high court of Karnataka also ruled that the child who has been adopted are having the same and equal rights as a biological child and on the basis of compassion, they cannot face discrimination when applying for their parents’ employment. If such a distinction is recognized, adoption would serve no purpose; a son is a son and a daughter is a daughter, whether they were adopted or not, the Dharwad Bench of the Karnataka High Court ruled. 


Due to the fact that it includes different religions, India’s property inheritance legislation is very extensive. Over time, it has undergone a number of modifications. Hindus, Muslims, and Christians each have distinct legal heirs, and each faith also has distinct modes of succession. Due to the amendment act of 2005, women’s property rights have been improved under Hindu law in the modern period. Now, a daughter has the same privileges as a son. This has improved a woman’s societal standing

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