Can dead brother's wife ask for equal share in my mother's property?


What legal steps can I take against my Sister in law to leave my mother’s house? My mother had filed a case against my brother that she will not give her any share in her Property. As the case was ongoing, my brother died. Now that we can withdraw the case but we want my sister in law to leave our house.

 

What she demands is that we sell the property and she gets an equal share in that. It is my mother’s property. Does she still have a right to demand an equal share?

 

Answer

 

If it is your mothers self acquired property, then no one has any share in the property till your mother is alive. It is her exclusive property and she can dispose it in any manner and to whomsoever she wants.

 

With respect to the coparcenary property, any property to which a female Hindu becomes entitled by virtue of her coparcenary interests shall be held by her with the incidents of coparcenary ownership and could be disposed of by her by testamentary disposition.

 

So when it comes to a widow, she has the same share as her deceased husband.

 

Now if the property is your mother’s self acquired property, then your brother or you do not have any share in it till the time your mother is alive. She may by way of a will dispose of the property in whichever manner she wants. If she dies intestate (without a will), then you and your brother shall have a share in the property. So if your brother has a share, the same can be claimed by her widow.

 

We would like to mention that if this house is the matrimonial home of your brother’s widow, then she cannot be evicted from the same because the widow has a right of residence in her matrimonial home.

 

However, the widow is entitled to maintenance under Section 19 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act which lays down only a moral obligation upon the father-in-law to maintain his daughter-in-law, but after the death of the father-in-law, whosoever inherits his self acquired property, is legally bound to maintain the daughter-in-law of such deceased person.

 

According to Section 19, any Hindu whether her marriage took place either before the commencement of the present Act or thereafter, on the death of her husband, would be entitled to maintenance from her father-in-law to the extent and so long:

 

(a) She is unable to maintain herself out of her own earnings or other property; or

 

(b) She is unable to obtain maintenance from the estate of her husband;

 

Or

 

(c) She is unable to obtain maintenance from the estate of her father; or

 

(d) She is unable to obtain maintenance from the estate of her mother; or

 

(e) She is unable to obtain maintenance from the estate of her son; or

 

(f) She is unable to obtain maintenance from the estate of her daughters; or

 

(g) She is unable to obtain maintenance from the estate of her son or daughter;

 

(h) If the father-in-law has no coparcenary property in his possession out of which she has not obtained a share, and

 

(i) She has remained unmarried. 

 


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