POSTED BY January 21, 2013 COMMENTS (98)ON
Let’s talk about Women and Inheritance today. Our Indian culture, has for thousands of years treated men as someone 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. This has been deeply rooted in all our minds for years and years. This is one big reason why women in India are not aware about inheritance laws and their rights in property.
Some families, where there are sons and daughters both, do not even raise the point of dividing the property equally among all of them equally. Daughters who are married are not even in picture at the times, the wealth is divided and it’s considered natural and something that makes sense. Women on the other hand also do not take any lead or don’t bother asking for their fair share in the family wealth.
You must have seen cases like these and might be experiencing them in your family as well.
Case 1 : I know a family which had 1 brother and 3 sisters and who had a huge property in Mumbai at a central location, lots of shares, mutual funds and bank accounts, When the father died, people cried and after a month every body was back at home, all 3 daughters who are married didn’t even think for a second that they have a huge 25% share in the wealth, which is a decent amount by today’s standards. All 3 daughters are not so well off and struggling day in and day out, but they are just not considering the option to ask for their share. Legally if they want, it would be just a matter of a few months or years and some bitter experiences, but they might reach their financial freedom if they go to court. But they are too emotional to take that step and worry about relationships and the problems which arise out of it.
Case 2 : In another case, there are 2 brothers and 2 sisters (all married), and after the father’s death, the brothers are fighting with each other for property “Father spend so much on your education, my career was affected because of that, So I should logically get more now.” Fair point logically, but from legal point of view, it does not matter much how father treated whom . The sad part of this story is that brothers are fighting for their share and also sharing their plight with their sisters, but not for a second do they think that even sisters are legal heirs and should also get their share. (Incase you didnt knew – Hindu Succession Law is applied when a WILL is not written)
It’s not Fair!
Just because now they are part of another family, they are not seen as valid heirs. I am raising this point today because this is wrong practice. Women now have to raise their voices and ask for their share from their parents and brothers. If required, ask for it legally. Just because father has spend lot of money on wedding of sister and given her gold does not mean she can be cut off from the family wealth sharing.
If father writes a WILL saying that he wants to give his wealth in some specific proportion, then it’s fine, it’s your father wish. But if a WILL is not present, then you are a valid legal heir, you should ask for your share and you will get it.
If you are a man, your wife might be entitled for her share of wealth from her parents’. In today’s world where money has become so important, see if you can convince her to ask for her share. It might get her valid share of money and can help you in leading a better financial life. I am not saying this because you should be money minded, but because its a fair thing to ask for.
We have created a 2 part video program for Women and Money for our wealth club members. If you are a member there, please show this video series to your spouse.
Do you have any personal experience like this? Can you share?