India as a country is known for its family ties and relationships worldwide. But, one of the things that is rampant in India but is unknown to everyone is that, Men still continue to cheat their female siblings of their fair share in their parent’s wealth. Most people I know are not aware of the Property and Wealth Inheritance laws and are not aware of the rights that the Women of this great country have. The idea behind this article to create awareness on the rights that women are entitled to so that they can get their share of their parent’s wealth.
If you read this article and found it useful, please share it with your friends both Men and Women. If Men know these rules, they can help their Wives get their fair share too, isn’t it?
Why are Women Unaware of their Rights?
Our Indian culture has for many thousands of years treated men as people who lead families and be the heads of next generation and women as someone who will go to some other family after marriage and start a new life. Women don’t usually involve in important decision making processes and are confined to the households. Though this mind-set is changing or should I say has changed a lot in the past 2 or 3 decades, the fact of the matter is that, this mind-set is deeply rooted in all the minds of still a vast majority of the population in our country. This is one of the biggest reasons as to why Women in India are not aware about their rights when it comes to Inheritance Laws...
What are the rights that Women have when it comes to Property Inheritance?
Women have equal share in their parent’s assets & property - the same as what their Male siblings have.
If Mr and Mrs. X have 3 children, all 3 children will get 33.33% of their parent’s assets irrespective of whether they are Male or Female. This is the current Law in the country.
Quick Question: Did you know this???
Is this what happens in Real Life?
The current reality if I have to summarize the situation in one sentence is
Brothers do not share wealth with Sisters - Period...
I am not saying that all men cheat their sisters but the sad reality is that, knowingly or unknowingly men end up doing this. Being unaware of a law doesn't justify doing a mistake. In most families where there are both sons and daughters, the property sharing usually happens only between the male children of the house. The women are considered a part of the family into which they are married into and hence are not considered as rightful shareholders in the parent’s property. So, in almost all cases the property gets equally divided among the sons and the daughters of the house are left out.
Are Women Really a Part of only the family into which they got married into?
No. The Indian Laws are very clear in this aspect. If I have Rs. 100 as assets at the time of my demise and I have one son and one daughter, my assets must be split equally and my son and daughter both will get Rs. 50/-
Yes, Women Too are valid and legal heirs to their Parents Wealth!!! The daughter has as much rights to her parent’s wealth as what the son has.
Do Women have equal rights at all time?
If a legal WILL is written and registered, the property will be shared according to the will & wish of the owner of the property. However, this concept of writing a WILL hasn’t really caught up in our country. So, in almost all cases the legal inheritance happens as per the Indian Succession Laws. The sad part is, most people do not really understand the laws clearly and think that only the Son gets his parents wealth.
Last year I had written an article titled Have you Written your WILL? where I had explained about the importance of having a WILL. As a parent, it is our responsibility to ensure that our children do not end up like those movie children who fight over their parent’s wealth after their parents are dead. If we write a WILL which clearly states who gets what, we can avoid a lot of problems in future, can’t we??
If the father or mother have a legal WILL that is written and registered which says that all their wealth belongs only to their son, the daughter has no right to inherit anything from her parents. For that matter, in case if the deceased individual left all his assets to his dog-walker and left out both his son and daughter out of the WILL, neither gets a penny.
The Indian Legal Succession laws of equal share come into picture only if there is no WILL in place.
If you are a woman who was cheated or know a woman who was cheated, you might be wondering what their options are. Isn’t it?
Next Steps - If you got cheated out of your fair share in your Parents property:
Consult a good lawyer and explain the situation. As of the date of death of your parents, whatever assets they had has to be equally divided (based on its monetary worth as on that date) and be shared among all the children. So, if you had a brother who cheated you out of your parent’s wealth, you can legally file a lawsuit against your brother to get your 50% share on your dad's wealth.
There are a lot of people who are not ok doing this because of the uncomfortable family situation that will arise due to this kind of a legal case and so, they are ok to give-up on their rightful share. If you are ok with that, then there is not much anyone can do. But, if you are someone who needs some financial support and are seeing that your sibling has inherited all your parents’ wealth and has cheated you off your share, you can always stake your claim and get the share that you deserve.
As I said before, I strongly urge you to read my earlier article titled Have you Written your WILL? and make sure that you create your WILL before your time to ensure that our son does not cheat our daughter out of her rightful share in our assets. At the end of the day, you never know if your son is going to do in future. He may be the loving brother who takes amazing care of his darling sister or end up the cold-hearted villain who cheats his sister...