Indian Christian Woman’s Right to Property

According to the Indian Succession Act, 1925, a Christian widow is entitled to one-third of her husbands property.

All children get an equal share in the remaining property.

Children of pre-deceased sons and daughters get their parents share of the property.

In case there are no children, the widow gets Rs.5, 000 along with half the share of the property left after deducting that amount.

A child in the womb is also entitled to a share of the property.

Any money earned by a Christian woman is her own property. Nobody can take it away from her. She has the right to will away or gift away her own money, jewellery and other property to anybody she wants.

Even if a Christian womans father spends money on gifts at her marriage, she is still entitled to a share in her fathers property

The rules relating to intestate succession among Christians would come into operation only if the deceased had not executed a will or any document of gift or a settlement deed. In the absence of the aforesaid documents the rules regulating succession enumerated under sections 29 to 49 in Part V of the Indian Succession Act, 1925 would come into play. But, if there is a Will executed by the deceased, the general law as contained in sections 57 to 391 would apply.

Where a Will was executed by a deceased, succession to his property is regulated by the provisions of the Will. If an executor is named in the Will, he has to get the Will probated as it is mandatory under section 213 of the Indian Succession Act. After obtaining probate, it is the duty of the executor to carry out the distribution of the property in accordance with the provisions of the Will. It may be noted that probate can be granted only to the executor appointed under a Will as is provided under section 222. If no executor is appointed by the Will, anyone of the persons claiming a right under the Will can file a petition for obtaining letters of administration as is provided under section 219. [But if the deceased has died intestate, wife or husband, as the case may be, has got preferential right to get letters of administration as is provided under section 219 (a) and (e).] In the case of Christians, those persons who are connected either by marriage or consanguinity are entitled to obtain letters of administration. On receipt of letters of administration, the intention of the testator as embodied in the Will has to be carried out by the person who obtained letters of administration as is provided under section 216. As section 212 exempts Christians also from the operation of that section, it is not mandatory for Christians to obtain letters of administration for establishing right to the property of an intestate. Therefore, in the absence of a Will a suit can be filed for establishing the rights which can be followed up by partition. Against a preliminary decree in a suit for partition an appeal will lie and Final Decree will be drawn up only after the decision in the appeal. To give effect to the Final Decree, in case of difference of opinion among the parties, execution proceedings will have to be instituted. For and on behalf of the deceased, the grantee of probate or letters of administration alone shall have power to sue or prosecute any suit or otherwise act as representative of the deceased as is provided under section 216.

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32 thoughts on “Indian Christian Woman’s Right to Property

  1. The law regarding probate is changed.Amend your opinion accordingly. Thanks in advance.
    Mohan

  2. The Indian Succession Act 1925 took the place of The Succession Certificate Act 1889. Not much change is introduced except for Section 213 where a Christian Testator’s Will does not require probate, introduced in Kerala State in 1986 and all India jurisdiction in 2002.
    When the devolution of property comes in focus, a great amount of stress is placed on fairness, or equity which principles the High Court is empowered to adopt pursuant to the Judicature Act 1873, when common law courts and Chancery (equity) courts were merged. However equity follows the law, though equity is superior.
    In pursuance of equity and the law in the Indian Succession Act 1925, there is generally an equal distribution of an intestates property.
    Widow or widower gets one third if there are sons and or daughters. Rest is shared equally between the children.
    If only one lineal decendent, son or daughter, widow and child share equally, however if child is a minor, the widow gets to be the administrator through letters of administration.
    If there is no lineal decendent, and deceased has his parent or parents, the widow and parents share the property. It all depends on equity, how well off the parents are or what the exact financial position of the blood relatives is.
    It is all in equity – not purely what is written on sharing what is written in the Succession Act.

    If the widow or widower is illiterate, or cannot handle administration for some reason, the court appoints an administrator.
    If there is a Will of a Christian testator. No one objects to the genuineness, probate is not necessary to be obtained by virtue of Section 213 (2) Indian Succession Act.
    However anyone in the future may object to its genuiness, to either harass or obtain some benefit. Then the caveator may file a suit and it will have to go through the process of proving as a Will by calling at least one witness according to Section 68 Indian Evidence Act 1872.
    A Christian Will can be proved in any civil proceedings, and doesn’t have to undergo the probate procedure, which will involve high court fees.
    Let the caveator file the suit, and contest and prove the Will.
    Or right while you act on the Will, file a suit to establish a claim with respect to the Will with your other beneficiaries, call the witness necessary and prove the Will.

  3. I would like to know that we are fourchildren. My father built a house and without writing a will died. now my mother is refusing to give me a share of the property whereas she is demolishing the present house and making flat andgiving the flats tomy sister and brother. How can i cloaim the property and what amount of share i wll get?

  4. You have to get 1/6 of the share.

    Mother has no right to deny your rights over property share.

    get RTC from municipality,and check the names are added in it, if your name is not there You can approch court with petition.

  5. am writing this regarding my friend’s children. he died without leaving a will two months ago.
    he was married in 1987 and had two children in that affair. she died at 1995 and he “brought” another woman(she was married but dont had a divorce certificate) in 1996(not a legal marriage)and had a child in 1997. later he remarried her (after she claimed that she obtained a divorce certificate).
    he died in 2011.

    how will be his property shared? does this second wife and child will get whole share?

  6. will is a personal deed, unless you appeal in court, legal process/probate will not take place.

  7. Dear Sir,
    Our family members consists of my self and two sisters All of us are got married. My father and mother is no more.
    We have one house in the name of my father. My sisters are demanding equal share in my father’s property. There is no will executed by my father. Should I have to give equal share according to christian law of property ? Kindly clarify

  8. As i lived away , My sister who lives with my parents has got them to write a will stating their property is meant for her only .Can i, as her brother, not be entitled to an equal share in the property & other poccessions under the Indian Christian succession act? Kindly advice

  9. This is regarding Inidan christian woman’s right to property.
    My father died without leaving a will and after the death of my mother a will written my mother was produced by my brother allocating one third of our property right to one of my brother and the remaining 2/3 to be shared equally between all the brothers and sisters without any mention of the demarcation of the property area for each brother/sister.
    Is such will valid ? Most of the brothers/sisters were not aware of such will until she died. we live in Kerala and are christians.
    Kindly advise.

  10. If its Fathers property then, in Property record all children name should be there. After Fathers death, it will not be transfered to Mothers name alone, it will be with all Children and mothers name.
    that means all children will have equal rights over property. and Mother cannt leave will or devide as per her wish.
    Her will is not valid, nor she has any rights to part the Land.

  11. my maternal grand father died before my mother got married and no will was written either.my mother’s 2 brothers and one of the brother’s children lived in the house for 59 years without giving any amount to her and both the brothers passed away 8 years back without giving a share of the property entitiled to her. One among the 2 brothers was unmarried and the other brother’s 7 children are claiming for the share and they don’t want to give any share to my mother but want her to sign in an noc plz tel us as to what we must do to claim my mother’s share, and whether she should get an equal share or 1/3 0f the property.

  12. There is recent modification of law, if your mother married before that then she is not. Entitled to get any share in property, please find out the year from lawyer, elseik she is entitled to. 1/3 share

  13. My father is 89 yrs old.Our mother expired 1.5 yr back.We are 5 sisters& 1 brother.My father wants to sale his flat to one of us whosoever can buy and distribute the sale proceeds in equal share to all his children.My brother is creating problem.He wants to grab his flat referring that under Christian law there is no such provision of Equal share concept.Please help&guide with your view.

  14. if its ancestor Property then it will shared among all children;
    if Father purchased with his money, he can give it to anyone or sell and distribute money equally.
    You have equal right as your brother and he will get his share only not whole flat, even Father can give it to Daughters only or whoever look after him.

  15. My father’s estate property he died in year 2000 and he made no will after 16 years my sister wants the share in property, will she get ? The property is on my name

  16. Hi am the only son, my mother & I are joint owners of a flat, is a will or settlement deed necessary to avoid unnecessary formalities after her time ??

  17. My mother the sole owner of the property died interstate but created tenantcy rights for her sons at the time of redevelopment since the daughters were given dowry at the time of marriage. Now, the building is complete and the sons have taken possession of the flats as permernant alternate accomadition. One of the daughter has now filed a suit in court asking for equal share in the property as a legal heir. Has she any rights after development has taken place and society is formed alongwith outside flat purchaser members ?
    Thanks,

    With Regards.

  18. In the article above, you have mentioned …… The rules relating to intestate succession among christians would come into operation if the deceased had not executed a will or
    any document of GIFT or a settlement deed.
    My father had in his life time GIFTED land to my younger sister AFTER her marriage. Now she is claiming share of the remaining land under Indian Succession Act, as my father died intestate. Does the law ignore (or consider) immovable property because of the wording GIFT ?
    Could you site any judgement or throw some more light in such case.

  19. A question for my Christian Friend;
    Mr A Expired leaving Will Behind Mrs B.(Not Registered)..Mrs B Expired leaving Will for Mrs. D. (Not Registered) Ms D Expired Leaving Will for Mrs. E….Living.
    (Registered)
    Now Mrs E wants to Claim rights on Shares of Mr.A App. Value 9 Lacs, from his DEMAT Account..
    Bank Needs / Asking for Legal Succession Certificate… As per some advice Christians in Maharastra don’t require Probate of a Will. mere registration n Notary should suffice…
    Please inform the Law n its Sections to mention in our letter to the Bank.

    Please Advise by eMail and here too..

  20. my mothers mother property is there my mother have four brothers n two sis my mother n father exp.i (grand children) can claim share on that prperty .pl give your advice.

  21. my grandparents and my father is no more, we have a house in my grandfather’s name without any will. my father has three sisters they are asking equal shares?should we give equal share? but they are married before 1986,is there any law according to this.. i ve come to know about a law that we no need to give any share to them who before married 1986.. is this correct?

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