Can A Father Inherit His Late Son’s Property?
Sons would be the first one to claim the property in case their fathers pass away, legally speaking. However, the reverse is not true.
Fathers are classified as Class-II heirs under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 — mothers on the other hand happen to be Class-I heirs. The father, in fact, would be the 16th person to claim his right on the late son's property. Class-I heirs that include the children, the widow, the mother, the grandchildren and the pre-deceased children, will have prior claim on the property.
This property distribution system is followed only when the son has died intestate, without leaving a will.
Legal experts have often times opined that the law is a little harsh towards fathers.
In 2008, legal expert Kirti Singh suggested that fathers be included in the list of Class-I heirs. In cases where both parents are alive, he said, they should be allowed one share together and not one share each.
“A father, who is certainly a very close relative, assumes more importance in view of the recent enactment of Parliament to provide maintenance to parents in “The Senior Citizens (Maintenance, Protection and Welfare) Act, 2007” wherein it is now made mandatory that every person should maintain his parents and failure will result in punishment. While so, it is but natural and logical to expect that a father should be given the right of inheritance of the property of his son like a mother,” Singh said in a report that he submitted to the law commission in 2008.
Some activists have also held that the law is tilted in favour of women. For instance, a woman is entitled to maintenance till she gets married, according to the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956. A son on the other hand is eligible to receive maintenance only till he turns 18 years of age.