For all the women who need to be made aware of their rights as per their father’s property, dive in to learn about the situations where daughters’ can make an apparent claim.
Consider a condition where a woman has been married young, without much schooling or attaining potential, and ends up being harassed by their husband and his family. To make matters worse, the parents are not keen to support them, and the brothers do not want to give a share in the ancestral property. What to do?
Financial dependence, be it on the husband, father, or brothers, has been at the origin of much hardship for females over the years. It comes with the Hindu Succession Act 1956, amended in 2005; it allows daughters an equal share in ancestral possessions. Apart from this, can a father deprive daughters of their share in the property?
Can Dad Refuse Daughter’s Share in Property Will?
If it is a self-owned property, the owner has complete control. However, this does not disqualify the daughter from contesting his decision. As a result, the father must clearly state the reason for disinheriting his daughter in his will so that even if the will is challenged, the father’s intention and reason are clear.
With the association with the 1956 Act, the primary goal of the Hindu Succession Act was to eliminate all ideas of a restricted estate and to ensure perfect equality between women and men regarding the right to property. Women’s rights were also declared absolute, responding to the question, “can daughters have the right to their father’s property?”.
The court made statements regarding section 14, which deals in detail with the amended Act of 2005. The court inferred the legislative intent behind legislating. Also, it was to remove the limitation that a Hindu woman couldn’t claim an absolute interest in the properties the women inherited but only had an interest in the estate so inherited, implying that her property would be treated as her property.
A daughter remains a coparcener in the possessions even after her marriage. So a daughter has the same rights over the dad’s property as the son.
The Supreme Court put a caveat that both daughter and father had to be alive on September 9, 2005, for this condition to come into force. In 2018, nonetheless, the Supreme Court ruled that a daughter can inherit her dead father’s property, whether the father was alive or not on this date. Nevertheless, properties obtained from one’s maternal side don’t qualify as ancestral properties.
Why is it Essential to Write a Property Will?
Nobody wants to think about their death as it conjures negative and unsettling emotions. Nonetheless, it is one of the essential things one must do as this will secure the future of their family members. Nowadays, women are equal stakeholders in ancestral property, so it is vital to ensure that ancestral rights are enacted onto the rightful successors.
There is a misconception that if an individual has a nominee for a property, then there is no necessity for a property will, but this is not true. A nominee is a property caretaker; he is not a legal successor. Succession planning will make women strong and powerful.
What are the Misconceptions Related to Property Will?
Given below are the misconceptions related to a property will:
- A will is written when an individual is old, and the Property Will can not be challenged in court if made when a person is mentally and physically fit.
- Writing a will is expensive; joint holdings and nominations work instead of property will.
6 Situations Where Daughters Have Right Over Dads Property
Following are the conditions where a daughter has right over the parental property:
1: Property Will: Daughters Right in Dad’s Property
As per Hindu law, the property is divided into ancestral and self-acquired. The ancestral property is known as one inherited from up to four generations of male heritage and should have stayed undivided throughout this duration.
For offspring, be it a son or daughter, an equal share in that property accrues by birth. Before 2005, sons only had a stake in such property. Thus by law, a father can’t write a property will to anyone he wishes to or restrain a daughter of her share. Therefore a daughter by birth has a stake in ancestral property.
2: Property Will: The property has been Self-Acquired by Father
In self-acquired property, where a father has purchased a property of land or house with his capital, a daughter is on weaker ground. In this case, the father has the right to give property to anyone he likes, and a daughter won’t be able to object.
The HSA 1956 was amended in 2005, giving daughters an equal stake in ancestral property.
3:Property Will: If the Daughter is Married
Before 2005, the Hindu Succession Act considered daughters only as Hindu Undivided Family members, not coparceners. The latter is the ancestral descendants of a common ancestor, with the initial four generations having a birthright to self-acquired or ancestral property.
Nonetheless, once the daughter was married, she was no longer deemed a member of the Hindu Undivided Family. But after the 2005 amendment, the daughter has been recognised as a coparcener, and her married status does not make any difference to her right over the father’s property.
4:Property Will: If Father dies, Intestate.
If the father dies intestate without leaving a property will, all legal successors have an equal right to the property. The HSA classifies a male’s heirs into four categories, and the inheritable possessions go first to Class I heirs.
These comprise the sons, daughters, and widows, among others. Each successor is entitled to one part of the property, which implies that you have a right to a stake in your father’s property as a daughter.
Intestate is a situation where a person dies without writing a property Will. Furthermore, it can be a situation where the property will have been made only for part of the inheritance, and the other part stays in the intestate estate.
5: Property Will: When the Daughter was Born before 2005
It doesn’t matter if the daughter was born on or before September 9, 2005, when the amendment to the Hindu Succession Act was carried out. She will have the same stakes as a son to the father’s ancestral or self-acquired property, irrespective of the daughter’s date of birth.
6: Property Will be if the Father Died Before 2005
Suppose the father was alive on September 9, 2005, for the daughter to have a right to a claim over his property. If he had died before 2005, they would have no right over the property. The self-acquired property will be distributed according to the father’s property will.
Can Daughters Claim Dad’s Property When He is Alive?
After the Amendment to Hindu Succession Act in 2005, daughters became the equal sharer with sons in the Hindi Undivided Family or ancestral property by birth. A Hindu Undivided Family is a family descended from a common ancestor and associated with each other by birth or marriage. Daughters could be part of this Hindu Undivided Family till their marriage only.
The Hindu Succession Act was formulated to create uniformity in the succession of parental possessions and came into force in 1956. Ironically, this act highly favoured male heirs.
Even though the father can use testate his whole self-acquired properties, he can not control his entire ancestral properties without including his daughters. So, can daughters assert their father’s property when the father is still alive? Let’s find out.
If a father testates his ancestral property without giving the right to his daughters, then they can assert their right in that Hindu Undivided Family or ancestral property by challenging the Property Will when he is alive or after he dies. However, you need to know that if the Property Will is about the father’s self-acquired property, then the daughters can not challenge that Will.
Thus, daughters can not contest the Will of the self-acquired properties but can contest the Property Will of ancestral properties; for instance, their right gets impacted by that Will.
Latest Update on Property Will Act
In January 2022, a bar of the Supreme Court ruled that Hindu daughters would be authorised to inherit their father’s property if the property was missing and there was no other legal successor. Daughters of the property landlord would get preference over other people like the father’s brother etc.
The bar stated that if a Hindu female dies intestate, the property inherited by her mother or father will go to the successors of her father; if the property has been inherited from her father-in-law or husband will go to the heirs of the father-in-law or husband.
Documenting a will is one of the most significant tasks if you don’t want to see your family suffer later. A female must know about her rights in ancestral property and possessions their mother or father owned. Here we have jotted down all the essential points so that you can clearly understand which cases daughters have the right to the ancestral property will consist of their father.
Does the daughter have a stake in the father's will?
Yes, according to the Hindu Succession Act 2005, a female has an equal stake in ancestral property. Nonetheless, if a father purchases a property, then it is the father's choice to whom he wishes to give the property.
In which instance can a father refuse property will?
If a property is self-acquired by the father, then he can deny a daughter's share from the property will.
Can a daughter challenge the father's will in court?
Yes, the daughter can challenge the father's Property Will if it is for the ancestral property.
Does a woman member have the same right to property after marriage?
Yes, the woman has the same rights over the ancestral property, whether married or not. This was done after the amendment of the Hindu Succession Act.
Can the daughter have a claim on the father's property when the father is alive?
No, the son or the daughter can only claim the father's property in the occurrence of his death.
Can a married daughter have a claim on the father's property?
Yes, the right of a legal daughter on her father's property doesn't depend on whether she is married.
Does the daughter have a claim to the father's property?
The daughters have an equal stake in their father's ancestral property. Nonetheless, this law will be void if the father has prohibited the daughter from any property rights through a property will.
Can a daughter claim the ancestral property of her mother?
Yes, the daughter has an equal stake in inheriting the ancestral property of her mother only after her demise, and they can't claim ancestral property during the mother's lifetime.
Can a daughter ask for the partition of her ancestral property?
Whether married or not, daughters can ask for partition and equal stake in the ancestral property of the mother or father. This is only void in instances where a property will have been made, noting the deceased individual has left the property to his son and not his daughter.