The Hindu Succession Act was amended in 2005, providing equal rights to the daughter in terms of property. Since then, the Supreme Court has reiterated in various orders that just like sons, daughters have an equal birthright to inherit a joint Hindu family property.
However, under the inheritance laws in India, property rights of a married daughter on her parents’ assets are defined by the nature of the property ─ rules of succession are different in case of self-earned property and ancestral property.
See also: Who is an heir and what is inheritance?
Married daughters’ right in her parents’ self-acquired property
According to the Hindu Succession Act, a married daughter will have equal share in the property along with her brothers if the parents die without leaving a will — a condition known as dying intestate. The Act makes no distinction between married or unmarried daughters.
In 2022, the Supreme Court also said that daughters have the right to inherit their parents’ self-acquired property, adding that this rule would apply even in cases where the parents of a daughter died intestate before the codification of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.
However, the owner enjoys complete freedom on self-created properties, and they can write a will and give the property away to anyone they like. So, if the parents leave a will, transferring the ownership of all their property to, say, their sons or any other relatives or non-relatives, the daughter can’t contest the decision.
Married daughters’ right in her parents’ ancestral property
It begs mentioning here that the division of undivided ancestral properties is done keeping in view the rules prescribed succession laws. Unlike self-acquired properties, parents can’t give away their share in an undivided ancestral property to anyone they like.
In an undivided ancestral property, too, a daughter has the same rights as her brothers. But considering inheritance laws confer property rights on other legal heirs of the deceased as well, the division will be based on the share of each heir. However, a married daughter will get the same share in her parents’ ancestral property as her brothers.
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