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Have you planned for your parents, Girls!!!
Let me be very honest, I was never an expert on estate planning or retirement planning. My financial planning expertise was dealing with new bees like me. For my workshops, I started reading a lot and I found this very interesting article that Harsh had preserved since 2009 on Estate Planning, It quoted as under:
“According to Hindu Succession Act, if a Hindu male dies intestate (without making a will), the property is first passed to class 1 heir which include the deceased person’s widow, children, and mother in equal share.” I thought this is pretty fair, the mother, wife and children can all manage easily after the death of the son, everyone is given a good equal standing.
It continues “However, in cases where the ownership is in the name of a woman, her husband and children become equal shareholders of the inherited property upon her death. In cases, where none of them are present, the property can be claimed by her husband’s heir.”
Before I write further about my feelings and research on this topic, please note the following:
- I am not a Femi Nazi, I definitely believe in equal opportunities if not equal rights.
- We are 2 daughters in the family (i.e. no male sibling to take care of my parents after us).
- I have earned and built a decent portfolio of my own before my marriage and my husband’s involvement (and so has he). We both have an individual financially independent life.
- All the views are my personal, I am stating laws and its interpretation as per my understanding, I do not wish to ruin anyone’s marriage or any other relationship.
As you may understand, I was pretty shocked by the above language of the law quoted in the article and with very high hopes started researching on HSA has to know more about the inheritance of women’s property in today’s time.
There has been an amendment in HSA, which now states that, property of a female Hindu dying intestate shall devolve on the following persons:
Firstly, upon the sons and daughters (including the children of any pre-deceased son or daughter) and the husband;
(b) Secondly, upon the heirs of the husband;
(c) Thirdly, upon the mother and father;
(d) Fourthly, upon the heirs of the father; and
(e) Lastly, upon the heirs of the mother.
So the law means that if I die (a married woman with some property of her own), without making a will, firstly my property will go to my children. Currently, I have none, so the property will go to my husband. If me and my husband both die, then it shall go to my husbands’ heir (i.e. his parents) and if they are also not there, then it shall go to my parents.
Hence, my parents have the right to my property after my children, my husband and my husband’s heirs.
After knowing this law, I am personally noting down my own will or a plan in case anything happens to me intestate.
- Some may say, I have an insurance, why do I need to put a will, intestate property includes my insurance money as well. So I have nominated and put my parents as the receiver of my life insurance on my death.
- I have made a list of assets I acquired pre-marriage and have nominated, appointed my mother and father as the joint holder of the same. I might actually pen down a will very soon.
- All the assets that I am acquiring post my marriage, is to split in the ratio of 60:40, with 60% devolving with my parents and 40% with my husband and his family.
These are just a few points that I am doing to ensure my responsibilities towards my parents are fulfilled financially even after my death and that my husband is under no pressure to take care of anyone.
Some people may still believe that I am being a feminist and this law may work against the hard work and efforts a husband and his family put on the wife to help her build her own assets. I do not wish to undermine any effort put by the family as a whole. It is very important to know what the law states about the right of a woman. Each situation and a family relationship has to be viewed and analyzed separately before a will is made.
Times have definitely changed and from owning a house to building wealth, the female has an equal stand in both her families and she is equally responsible to her both set of parents. Until girls with no male siblings take steps like these to ensure that their parents are self-sufficient, no parents would kill to have a male child.