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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.


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

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

  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 ?

    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.
    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?

  22. one of my christian friends Father owning a property in Mumbai. he has one son and two daughters. His son dosen’t have a job so he stayed in his parents house along with his wife for last 35 years. in 2012 his mother expired & 2016 August his father expired. Now he is claiming that his father had made a will and the property has been transferred in his name and not even a single brick will be given to you all. how to proceed in this matter. Is the two sisters will get equal rights in their fathers property

  23. That depend on when they married off, if any will or its ancestor property. but when these sisters never take care of parents why they want parents property now.

  24. I am a married Christian woman. My father having 1acer inherited land. From this my father 45 cents registered in my brother’s name and for the rest Will has been written in brother’s name. Can I claim my share now? My father is still alive.

  25. My friend is a christian by birth.she got married to a muslim.soon after her marriage her father wrote a will stating that his whole property will belong to her sister after her dad’s and mothers death.Her sister is unmarried.To whom it will belong after her sisters death.

  26. if its ancestor property them both get their share, if its fathers self earned then he can write it to anyone name

  27. We are Christians and my brother-in-law expired recently and they has no children.They are not ready to take care of sister.How can we move legally to get any sort of benefit /maintains/property from brother-in-laws parents side to my sister?

  28. if they have ancestor property then she has rights in it or if BIL has any property, if property is BIL Fathers own then she will not get anything

  29. I am a married christian woman employed in Govt sector. My father is a widower. He has around 1 acres of land. He wants to give the major share of it to my brother, who is his only son and negligible portions to me and my sister, the only reason being the blind acceptance of traditionally practiced gender discrimination in christian inheritence. How can i stop this.
    My brother is well placed and i had been taking care of father since mothers demise for several years.

  30. If its Father own property not ancestor then its his wish whom to give, and your bother take care of him then you should not ask property at all.

  31. Hello sir..
    I am a recently married christian woman. I have 2 siblings-an younger sister and an elder brother. My father has 1 acres of ancestral land and a 2 storeyed house and rental portions made by him and his wife by their own money in another small piece of ancestral land.
    My mother fell sick in 2006 and i had to stay back at home to care her at the expense of high flying career options. After my mothers death, i continued to look after my father until now.
    Father had given the house and associated rental buildings as share to his son, and 10 lakhs each to daughters as dowry.
    Despite my fathers earlier oral promise to give daughters more share in the ancestral land worth 4 crores minimum (as son was given the house made on ancestral land as well as rental buildings which is worth 1 crore minimum) he now wants to give the major share of land also to son, which is clear discrimination. I am employed in a small scale job in govt sector and earning less as i couldnot pursue higher studies because of my family affairs. My brother and sister are well placed and they do not care to give me justice.
    Please advise me on how to take up the matters further. Will i get justice.

  32. My Friend is a Christian, She married to a Christian male in the year 2005, her husband died in 2008 leaving her and daughter. Now she married a Hindu Male in the year 2017. But her husband did not leave any self earned movable or Immovable property. Can she claim for her deceased husband’s ancestral property.

  33. My grand father purchased 29 cents land before 67 years and he died after 2 years of my father’s birth without making a will. My grandmother got the property after that . My father was only child of Grandfather and Grand mother. My father married and have 3 children. Before 16 years Grandma died without making will.I am the only son. I have 2 sisters. one got married before 9 years. fathers was no money at the time of sisters marriage. I took the all responsibilities of marriage and all the money needs of the family last 15 years. spending all the money by taking loans meeting all the expenses of the house like functions money to sisters , house maintanenance, mother was heart patient last 9 years hospital expenses also met by me only.giving money to parent every month last 15 years. when at the time of marriage of my sister all are said the property and house belong to you only. when at he time of sister’s marriage father and mother was no money for sister’s marriage.They planned to sell half of our land. at that time I have given the money to them by taking the loans. Now all are slightly changing mind. younger sister told that she want share of the ancestral property. Parents are going to fix the marriage of younger sister asking me to take the money needed for marriage as dowry and also for functions. How can I deal the situation. If I take the loan for giving sisters marriage I will again suffer a lot. already I was spended last 15 years for paying all loans. after all , sisters may ask for ancestral property share. I will be in trouble.

    How can we part our 29 1/4 cents of land legally ?
    How can I give my sisters dowry as legal ancestral property share ?

    at the time of sisters marriage I have given some money by account through cheque of 1.6 lakh and 40,000 by paid by my credit card. Giving money every month by cheque. now by fund transfer to mothers account. This I am givivng last 15 years to parents. other home expenses and house maintanence costs . land maintanance costs other expenses are giving by cash only last 15 years

    We are a christian family, ROMAN CATHOLIC SUB CASTE – SYRIAN CATHOLIC


  34. Women married before 2005 Amendment will not get any ancestor property.
    Dowry is prohibited so you cannt give ancestor property as Dowry. you can transfer under Gift deed, as its within family so to avoid stamp duty.
    for decades if you have taken care of you sisters then they have to understand not to make claim in property. you can make deal that all the money was given for so many years was the part of property only. if they want property share ask them to return all your money with interest and stop paying them now and give property, if they fight for their share.

  35. We are three brothers & a sister.

    My grand father had purchased property when he was alive.

    After his death, my grand mother had her name entered in the property records. During her lifetime, she made a will & had the same probated.
    The will transferred the rights of the property to her three sons, after her death; the sisters having got their due earlier. The same has been mentioned in that probated will.

    My father who was one of the three sons, then willed the property to his three sons, after his death, of which I am one of them. My sister was given her due when my father was alive & the same has been mentioned in his will.
    On seeking to probate the will of my father, my sister is claiming ancestral rights to the property which was purchased by my grand father.

    Can she claim any right to the property since the property has been willed to my dad & his two brothers by my grand mother.

    We are Indian Christians.

  36. As its Ancestor property automatically transferred to his heir without will, to all children, along with Daughter if she was not married of before 2005 Amendment. Grand Mother has no right to write a will, as she get 1/4, only that 1/4 her share she can will to anyone, as property is not owned/purchased by her.

  37. It has been more than one year to my husband passed away.I m at my mothers home,but I want share of my husband property for life security.Property is not purchased by my father in law,that is given by my husband’s grandfather to my father in law

    There is one more brother of husband and his wife alongwith father in law and mother in law.

    Please tell can I claim for this property and in what share

  38. If property is partitioned then your will get 1/4 share of the property if you have children from the marriage, you cannt claim as its not your husband property and you have to prove its ancestors property.
    As of now, women also get Property rights, you can ask rights from your Father too.

  39. I am a christian married women, married on July 2006. We are three children, I am the eldest, I have younger sister and younger brother. My father has ancestoral property, he has 1 acre of land, and houses, all are ancestoral. My father is 72 years old, all of sudden he fell sick and diagnosed with thyroid cancer, so my father now wants to write a will giving bigger share 80% of the property to my brother because he is a son, and in remaining 20% he is giving 10% to me and 10% to my sister, because my father knows that if he dies intestate property will be shared equally, he doesn’t want that to happen. we both daughters have spent lot of money supporting my father ‘s family since last 15 years since we were elders and started to earn first . Now how to stop my father writing a will or how to claim our share in the property. Please advice.

  40. I am christian married women, married on June 2006. We are three siblings, me being eldest daughter, I have younger sister and younger brother. My father has 1 acre of land and houses, all these are ancestoral property, nothing was self earned by my father. Since we were elder sisters started earning first and supported my father’s family also my brother education. We have spent a lot on father’s family even after getting married. My mother expired 1.5 years ago. All of a sudden my father fell sick and diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Now my father is writing a will, to give bigger share to my brother only because he is a son. He is giving out all the good portions, 80% of his property to my brother and 10% to me and 10% to my sister. He wants to write this will now, because he wants to avoid us getting equal share. My father knows that if he dies intestate then property will be divided equally, he doesn’t want to give equal share to us because we are daughters. Now how to stop him writing will or how to claim equal share in ancestoral property. kindly advice

  41. He got it from father. I mean it is purely ancestor property. He did not purchased any thing during his life time.

  42. No he did not purchase that property, my father got it from his father or from my grandfather

  43. Thanks for your reply..
    How can he say that, because he spent money on my brother’s marriage as well. More over, my marriage was simple, no dowry or sthridhanam was given, even bridegroom shared the marriage expenses. He spent more on my brother’s marriage than mine.
    After marriage also he did not spent any thing on us, instead I was supporting him financially in his difficult time. I can produce bank statements showing evidence of money transaction.
    After receiving all the help from me, now he is showing his true color that son is important than daughters. why this discrimination between son and daughter. I want to fight for my right, how can I proceed with this.

  44. where i said its legally valid, i said its a catch. to keep relation together.
    what he spend on son is not considered. if he is look after him now. giving financial support is not important but taking care old aged parents.
    anyway you can file partition case for your rights but it will divide not only property but family and relation too.
    again if said property is managed and developed by your brother/father then getting your share also will be less if you have no contribution in developing it after your marriage.
    think all these aspect before you knock doors of law. and to reach final verdict it take decades. when it has no value for all the valuable time you spend fighting by breaking all relations and energy. BEST OF LUCK

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