Rights of a Daughter to Ancestral Property.

The progress made in India regarding women’s inheritance and property ownership rights has resulted in women being more confident and vocal in wealth planning and management. This shift in attitude is due to advancements in Indian succession laws. This article provides an overview of the rights of daughters to ancestral and self-acquired property in India.
Understanding the Two Types of Property in India: Ancestral and Self-Acquired In India, property can be divided into two categories: ancestral and self-acquired. Ancestral property is property inherited by four generations of male lineage and remains undivided throughout the period. Self-acquired property, on the other hand, is property purchased by the father with his own funds.

Daughters’ Inheritance Rights When Property is Ancestral Inheritance Rights if Daughter is Married Regardless of their marital status, daughters have the right to inherit their father’s ancestral property. The Hindu Succession Act underwent an amendment in 2005 that recognized daughters as coparceners in ancestral property, granting them an equal share as sons.

Inheritance Rights if Daughter is Not Married Both married and unmarried daughters have equal rights to their father’s property as their brothers, including the same duties and liabilities as their brothers.

Inheritance Rights for Daughters and Fathers Prior to 2005 Amendments to Hindu Succession Act Daughters have the same inheritance rights as sons at the time of partition, regardless of whether they were born before or after September 9, 2005. A landmark ruling by the Supreme Court in August 2020 established that a daughter is entitled to a share in ancestral or coparcenary property under the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act of 2005, even if her father died before the amendment was enacted.

Daughters’ Inheritance Rights When Property is Non-Ancestral or Self- Acquired In the case of self-acquired property, the father has the right to dispose of it in any way he chooses, including not passing it down to his children. Sons or daughters may not receive self-acquired property if the father chooses not to give it to them.

Inheritance Rights of Daughters in the Absence of a Father’s Will Daughters have the same rights as their brothers to inherit their father’s property when he dies intestate (without a will).

Inheritance Laws for Muslims in India Muslim personal laws apply in the case of non-testamentary succession, as per the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937. Muslim laws for succession are not codified and are based on four sources of personal Islamic law: the Holy Quran, the Sunnah, the Ijma, and the Qiya. Inheritance of property in Muslim law comes only after a person’s death and not by birth, unlike the Hindu Succession Act. Muslim law does not create any bias between the rights of men and women, and both become legal heirs of the inheritable property once the ancestor dies. However, in some cases, Muslim males receive a double share compared to Muslim females because women receive Mehr and maintenance from their husband, while men are duty-bound to maintain their wives and children.

Inheritance Laws for Christians, Parsis & Jews in India: Christians (and Jews) are governed by the Indian Succession Act, 1925, specifically by Sections 31 to 49 of this Act. Under this Act, Christians inherit equally, irrespective of gender. If the father or mother dies intestate, a daughter would inherit equally as her brother(s). In case the deceased leaves behind a widow and lineal descendants, the widow gets one-third share in the estate, and the remaining two-thirds go to the lineal descendants. If there are no lineal descendants but another relative is alive, the widow will get half of the share