Most of the time, we talk about the wife’s right on the husband’s property in case the husband dies. But what will happen if the case is another way round? That is what rights does the husband have on his wife’s property after she dies.
First, let us see who has right on the married woman’s property when she is alive:
In the case of a married woman, only she has completed right on all her movable and immovable property when she is alive. Neither her husband nor her children can claim the property that the woman owns in her lifetime. The woman has a complete right to sell the property or to gift it to anyone whom she wants to. She can make a legal will in this regard.
What happens to the married woman’s property post her death?
In the case of Hindu woman irrespective of whether she is married or not the Hindu Succession Act’s sections 14, 15 and 16 will be applicable.
In the case of a Hindu woman, if the married woman has left behind her will, then the property will have to be disposed of as per the will. If she has not left behind any will, then the husband and the dead wife’s children have equal rights on the inherited and self-acquired property of the dead woman.
In the case of a Muslim woman, if she has children, then the husband will get 1/4th share in the dead wife’s property. If there are no children, then the husband will have half share in the wife’s property.
If the Muslim woman decides to make a will, then she cannot give more than 1/3rd share of the property. If she only has her husband as the legal heir, then she can give away 2/3rd of her property through her will.
In the case of other religions, the Indian Succession Act of 1935 is applicable, and the blood relatives will have rights even in the presence of the husband.
What are some of the ways to avoid any confusion and hassles?
One of the best options is that the woman makes a will during her lifetime. This legal document will give complete clarity about who can inherit her property after her death.
In case no will is available, then the inheritance of the property will be as per the law. If you are not very sure what needs to be done and wish to explore the legal angle, then the best possible way is to hire a legal advisor who has complete knowledge about succession and inheritance laws.
Marriage is a bond of a lifetime. But eventually, the death of one of the partners will lead to the end of this bond. However, the property that the dead partner leaves behind can become a matter of dispute. Hire a legal expert who can give complete guidance in these matters. Most of the time, the matter can be resolved amicably, but, in some cases, one may have to follow the legal path.