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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