If you wonder whether widows have a right over the property of their deceased husband, rest assured that she would be Class I heir and entitled to the property of the deceased husband as the other legal heirs. However, it would be dependent on different religions and cultures.
The question to ponder upon would be what if the widow chooses to remarry. Would she have a legal right on the property of her ex-deceased husband? What are the property rights of widows in India? The questions would surface repeatedly when it comes to matters of property ownership. Let us delve into the aspects briefly.
What does the law say about the property rights of widows?
Earlier, the law forbade widows from inheriting the property of the deceased husband if she decides to remarry. All interests and rights in the property of her deceased husband would cease when the widow remarries. The property of the deceased husband would be bequeathed upon the next legal heirs or people entitled to the property upon her death.
However, it would be pertinent to mention here that the repealed Act states widows choosing to remarry would have the right on the property of their deceased husband.
Rights of the widows
In the event the widow remarries, she does not have to give up her right over the property of her deceased husband. The widow is a Class I heir of her deceased husband and should inherit the property as other legal heirs. It would be pertinent to mention here that the kin of the husband would come under Class II legal heirs.
The other Class I heirs would be inclusive of the
- Widow of the predeceased son
- Daughter of the predeceased daughter
- Son of the predeceased daughter
- Son of the predeceased son of a predeceased son
- Widow of predeceased son of a predeceased son
- Daughter of predeceased son of a predeceased son
Rest assured that the adopted sons or daughters would also be counted as legal heirs. Any children borne out of the voidable or void marriages would also be considered legitimate and entitled to succession.
In the event, there has been more than one widow; they would be entitled to an equal share in one part of the property of the deceased husband.
A widowed mother would also be entitled to her share in the property of the deceased son along with other legal heirs. Despite the widowed mother has been divorced or remarried, she would be entitled to a share in the property of her deceased son. The widowed mother could be an adoptive mother as well. Therefore, in the event of an adoptive mother, the natural mother would not have any right to a share in the property of the deceased son, if he dies intestate. However, a mother would be entitled to inherit the property of her illegitimate son.
Exceptions to the law of inheritance
Certain widows who remarry would not be entitled to the property of the deceased husband as widows. A legal heir related to an intestate as a widow of a pre-deceased son or the widow of the brother should not be entitled to the inheritance of the intestate property, as she has remarried.