Is It Possible To Write A Will Without Leaving Home?
1 Aug, 2022 . 3 min read

Is It Possible To Write A Will Without Leaving Home?

In our society, it is very frequently seen that after the death of the husband of a woman, she is treated differently than before. While she goes back to her parental home, her in-laws distribute the property among themselves. There is still a section of society in which women are still dependent upon their husbands, and even if they are not, women are entitled to their share of the deceased husband’s property. 

There is a lengthy litigation process to claim your share of rights. Primarily, a widow has her equal share of rights in the property of her deceased husband, but according to Section 19 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, a widowed daughter-in-law has some additional rights to claim maintenance from her father-in-law under certain circumstances.

Section 19- Maintenance of widowed daughter-in-law:

(1) A Hindu wife, whether married before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be entitled to be maintained after the death of her husband by her father-in-law:

Provided and to the extent that she is unable to maintain herself out of her own earnings or other property or, where she has no property of her own, is unable to obtain maintenance:

(a) from the estate of her husband or her father or mother, or

(b) from her son or daughter, if any, or his or her estate.

(2) Any obligation under sub-section (1) shall not be enforceable if the father-in-law has not the

means to do so from any coparcenary property in his possession out of which the daughter-in- law has not obtained any share, and any such obligation shall cease on the remarriage of the daughter-in-law.

Let us break it down in a simplified manner:

  1. It has been held by various high courts many a times, that a widow daughter-in-law can claim maintenance from father-in-law if she is unable to obtain maintenance from:

          (a). Her husband's estate or 

          (b). She doesn’t have a source of income that is enough for her,

           (c). Her children or parents are not able to provide maintenance for her. 

  1. The important question then arises is that under what circumstances would her claim against her father-in-law be sustained?

The right to claim maintenance can only be extended to the coparcenary property. The term “coparcenary property” occurring in Section 19(2) would consist of ancestral property, joint acquisitions, or property thrown into the common stock and accretions to such property. 

This means that the right of a widowed daughter-in-law is conditional. Therefore, the right to receive maintenance from the father-in-law would be restricted to the share of coparcenary property held in his hand, out of which the widowed daughter-in-law has not obtained any share. Moreover a father-in-law is only obligated to support his daughter-in-law if he has inherited any ancestral property and not from his independent or individual property.

Read more: 8 FAQ’s About Ancestral Property

  1. Moreover, if she remarries, the widowed daughter-in-law would have no right to claim maintenance from her father-in-law.

Everyone has a different understanding of love and marriage. However, if a husband does not want his wife to suffer in the future after his death, he must plan things in such a way that his wife receives a sufficient share of his property to live a comfortable life, and this must be considered especially when the wife is not an earning member.

AasaanWill assists you with all aspects of succession planning and advises you keeping up with all the aspects of Indian Succession Laws so that you can plan better and protect your loved ones. AasaanWill Zaroori Hai!

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