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What Rights Does A Mother Have In Her Son’s Property?

What Rights Does A Mother Have In Her Son’s Property?

What Rights Does A Mother Have In Her Son’s Property?
(Dreamstime)

The Hindu Succession Act, which lays down rules of succession and inheritance among Hindus in India, says that if a man passes away without leaving a will, his property will be equally distributed among his widow, his children and his mother. 

Property of a man who is survived by his wife, two children and his own mother, would be equally distributed among the four, as all of these relations constitute Class-I heirs.

The father of the deceased on the other is only a Class-II heir in his son’s property and will inherit only in the absence of any of the Class-I heirs. 

What if the son was disinherited?

There are families where the parents may have disowned or disinherited their sons (essentially above 18 years of age). In such a case, will the mother be entitled to inherit from the son?

Various court judgments state that parents can stop their sons from only from inheriting their self-acquired property; they can't do so in case of ancestral property. 

Similarly, parents won't have be able to stake their claim in their late disowned son's self-acquired property, which can only be claimed by his surviving wife and children. The ancestral property on the other hand would be divided according to the Succession Law. 

Can property pass on to mother’s legal heirs?

Kolkata-based advocate, Krishna Kishore Ganguly says, “After the death of the mother, her share of her deceased son's properties will be equally shared by all her legal heirs, provided she has not bequeathed it to any other person.”

Can a mother inherit an adopted son’s property?

Yes, after adoption, a Hindu male assumes the position of a biological child and is a legal heir. Naturally, as is in the case of a biological son, a mother can inherit from her adopted son as well.

Can a mother transfer property of minor (living) son?

In the Rameshwar Paul (Son) versus Shivaji Paul, Kushavartabai Paul (mother) and Others case, the Bombay High Court took a decision that curtailed the power of a mother to sell/transfer property of a minor son when his father was alive. Where the father is alive, a mother is not taken as a natural guardian and therefore the transfer of property that took place years ago was taken to be null and void. The judgement was pronounced in January 2019.

“If the property inherited by son from his father is not ancestral, the mother has no right to sell it. She as a de facto guardian has no right to alienate the property of her minor son,” ruled the court.

Last Updated: Tue Jul 07 2020

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