Rights of widow on husband's property


In India, the majority of women are financially dependent on their husbands. Marriage is our society's important institution, but most women do not enjoy independent liberty in marriage. Single-parent condition is a subject to be ridiculed in the social arena. Divorced or a widow frequently suffers public mockery, a radical pitfall in our society. 

India accommodates over 50 million estimated widows. Society must treat such a percentage of women with equal respect acknowledging their rights that are oblivious to these women. Inheritance rights of widows on their husband's property are one such right that widows fail to capitalize on because of a lack of legal awareness. 

A woman also holds property rights after her husband's death based on how he acquired its ownership, which means self-acquired or ancestral. Once the property's ownership is determined, the next question is the kind of ownership the couple shared before the husband's death.

Property rights of a widow in different circumstances

Here is a quick overview of inheritance rights based on the form of acquires and religion:

Hindu Law

As per the Hindu Succession Act, of 1956, a wife can inherit the property of the husband after his death, intestate. 


The legal heirs of the male dying intestate get his property post his death and the wife coming in the Class I heirs bracket, gets the property post the death of the husband equally or in a share as mentioned in the will of the husband.

Ancestral Property

A wife does not have any legal rights in the ancestral property of the husband as her own, however, she can claim the part of her husband post his death from her in-laws. 


The property is considered self-acquired, no matter the mode of how it was acquired. The wife has a right to the property along with his other legal heirs.


The wife gets one-fourth property of the husband if there are children and if no children are there, one-eighth, part of the property belongs to the wife.

Rights of a widow on husband's Property according to the Remarriage Act of 1856

All rights and suits that any widow can have in the Property of her deceased spouse should depend on her remarriage. The following beneficiaries of her expired husband, or other person allowed to the Property upon her death, shall follow to the same."

Yet, this Act has been revoked as per the Hindu Succession Act 1956. Widows who prefer to remarry have a right to their deceased spouse's Property.

According to Section 2 of the Hindu Remarry Act 1856

The rights of a widow in a dead spouse's Property depend on the end of their marriage (when she remarries). All claims and interests a woman can have in her deceased Husband's Property

  • By keeping.
  • Or by legacy to her spouse or the successor of that Property.
  • Or by any will consult upon her.
  • Without giving consent to marry again.

Only a slight interest in that Property, without any power of estranging the same, must rely on the end of her marriage (if she chooses to marry again).  

Relevant Provisions Related to Widow's property rights.

  • As per Hindu Widow's Remarriage Act, 1856, All claims and rights which any widow may have in her dead spouse's Property must rely upon the cease of her remarriage and on the other legal heirs of her spouse or other one allowed to have the share in the Property of the demised one.
  • According to the HS act 1956: The women getting married again still have the right to her dead spouse's Property. Her share of the Property doesn't depend on her marital status.
  • The legal need was owned by Hindu law as a state in which the woman whose spouse has expired had the right to sell their Property. These were situations where she needed money to make grants or conduct rites in remembrance of her spouse. The expenses of the wedding of the daughter come under this legal need.

Legal aids if the right to get the demised husband's Property is denied:

  • She can give legal notice to the one arguing her rights to her demised spouse's Property.
  • Furthermore, she can file a case for the partition to claim her portion.
  • If the court felt it wasn't possible to divide this Property, the court would do the auction and give the desired amount to the women.
  • She can request to stop the sale of the Property until the case is in court.
  • If the family mates try to sell the Property without her consent, she can term the one who purchased the Property as a defendant.

The claim of Hindu widows in their spouse property.

Where immovable Property was purchased by a Hindu widow in control as such of the inheritance of her deceased spouse out of the pay of the inheritance, such Property does not always evolve into an accumulation of the husband's Property. The widow has the absolute power to dispose of it throughout her life. Still, it is possible only if she displays a clear sense to treat it as an accumulation of her spouse's estate or lets it stay undisposed at her demise. That Property will evolve as part of that inheritance.

A widow in control as such of her spouse's estate is not responsible for accounting to anyone. Yet, she is free to do what she does with the Property during her lifetime, given that she does not injure the revision. The widow of a separated Hindu followed as such in the firm of her dead spouse. She carried it on for a series with reasonable prudence on the same lines as it had been conducted in his lifetime. The business was that of a banker and money lender, involved from time to time.

If a man dies with having more than one widow, then they can make the court partition of the Property according to the share. The court can ask them to share part of their Property by themself. Two widows interested in a property can't get the whole share alone. It is good if they peacefully divide the Property between them. Other than that, they can divide it as a mutual agreement. Yet, they have no right to divide the Property in the proper sense. One's share of the Property will go by the right to the other.

Whether a widow can claim the Property of the husband after remarriage?

According to a recent decision, the High Court of Bombay led that a widow, even if she chooses to marry again, has rights over her ex-husband's belongings. A person filed the case against his ex-sister-in-law, who had claimed the right over her dead spouse's properties after she got married to another one.

The deceased person's brother was under the requirements of Section 2 of the Act 1856, which includes:

As per Section 8 of the Act 1956, which gives the public rules in the case of a male, the following will be the row of succession under this Act:

  • From first to class, I Include the deceased man's children, wife, and mother.
  • Hiers from second to Class II: includes the siblings, father, siblings, and so on of the deceased one.
  • Hier third to the dead's agnates male links. 
  • Fourth, the dead agent's female links.

The 2005 Act gave the same right to the daughter as that of the son to claim the inheritance in the Property but failed to talk about widows aiming a part in their dead spouse's Property. In the year 2008, the court held a woman who chooses to marry again could not be denied the share of the Property. And that doesn't depend on her marital status.


We hope this article clarifies the rights of a widow on the Property of his husband. In this article, we have discussed the rights of the widow, the rights of them their father-in-law's property, two kinds of succession (Testamentary Succession, Intestate Succession), and regarding their provisions and rights after getting married.

We know it is a challenging situation that one is not planned for and can challenge you mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially. If you have any queries to ask, or you are stuck in a case where you aren't able to get your share in the Property of your demised husband, feel free to contact us. Our experienced Family lawyers will help you by giving you easy solutions. You can call us at +919284293610 or email us at info@restthecase.com.


What is a women's right to their husband's Property after death?

As per the words of the law, a woman gets an equal right to get the share of the Property divided among the legal heirs of the Property, other Class I heirs that include his mother and his children. It uses only if the man dies without creating a will. The wife will be the sole owner of the Property if there are no other legal heirs.

What is the Right of Widow under the Hindu Succession Act?

The Hindu Remarriage in 1856. If a woman marries again after her husband's demise, she must leave all the property rights of her ex-husband. Due to this, the law is misunderstood. Even when the customary law allowed her to take possession, some families still did not agree that a widow should marry again due to the orthodox thinking of that society.

Can a woman have the right to claim their father in law property?

Thus, the widow is allowed to get 1/6th share of the self-owned Property of her father-in-law. Indian legacy law gives more rights to a daughter than a daughter-in-law on the father-in-law's Property. The widow would be allowed to her dead spouse's share.

What are the legal rights of the woman that she has after she marries again after his husband's death?

According to the Act 1955, remarriage without the end of the first marriage is illegal and punishable. Thus, in those cases, the second wife can't claim any right to her husband's Property if he created any will before his demise.

Can the wife claim Property after the second marriage?

According to the Act of 1955, a person can't get married again if the previous marriage isn't ended. If any person tries to get married without the end of their previous marriage, that marriage will be considered illegal.

Hence, the second wife, in such cases, cannot get the claim of share in the Property of their demised husband, except in the case that he has created a will before his demise.

Does a widow have the right to claim the ancestral Property:

In clear words, a woman doesn't have the right to the ancestral Property of his husband. Only coparceners can get the portion/share in the ancestral Property. Since a wife isn't a coparcener, she isn't entitled to get a share in ancestral Property.

Who is included in the legal heirs of the Property of the demised one?

According to the Act of 1925, the widow has the right to have the share that is one-third Property of his spouse, and the remaining will be shared with another lineal heir. In their absence, only the widower and kindred gets half the Property, and the balance is spread among the kindred.

Does a woman have the right to claim the Property of her father-in-law?

Section 19 states that a widow has the right to get maintenance from her father-in-law, but his duty ends if the women marry again.