A daughter in law’s legal rights in her in law’s house are the same as her husband’s rights. Whatever is his, is hers.

Parts of this post are taken from and roughly translated from हू के क़ानूनी अधिकार from Nari blog (in Hindi). My comments in red. Rachna added some more points in her comment here.

A daughter in law’s legal rights in her in law’s house are (seen as) the same as her husband’s rights? Whatever is his is hers? So any talk of a daughter in law’s rights is creating unnecessary controversy perhaps?

Also, this ensures a woman’s financial status is affected by her marital status. What if she does not have a husband (does not marry, is in an in-living relationship, divorced, widowed or separated)?

But now that we are beginning to talk about equal rights for married daughters, then how is it wrong to talk about a daughter in law’s legal rights too? (Remember unless they are earning and self reliant, their financial security depends on these rights.)

If there is no Will, then who inherits a Hindu woman’s property?

All married women should read this post. They should be aware that they have no legal right on anything that belongs to their mothers in law.

Generally the in laws’ give jewelry to a bride (stree dhan). Some during god bharai, some with baraat, and then some more during the mooh dikhai.

Often most of this jewelry is taken back when the bride reaches her in law’s place, she is only allowed one odd piece which was bought with the amount that was given by her parents (pre-negotiated). This is done to showoff to the society. Sometimes the entire joint family’s jewelry is given to the bride and after the wedding it is all taken back.

In many families where there are more than one sons, whatever is given for mooh dikhai (a ceremony where the bride is introduced to her husband’s relatives and neighbors etc ) is taken back, it stays with the mother in law. And this same jewelry is given to every new daughter in law who joins the family (and then taken back).

According to this post (in Hindi) whatever the daughter in law is given as gifts (stree dhan), even if it is in safe keeping of the mother in law, legally belongs to the daughter in law. If the mother in law dies without leaving a will, the daughter in law has a legal right on it, not the son.

Please note that only a rare bride would have proof for the gifts (streedhan) received during these customs.

While now one talks about equal property rights for daughters, there is no talk about the daughters in law being given a share.

I feel, Daughters in laws are also daughters, just like Sons in laws are also sons – I wonder if either needs  rights in their in laws’ property?

But then,  do they both have responsibilities in proportion to their rights? (comment by s)

Brothers sometimes take offense when sisters are given their share because they feel their share was spent on their weddings (dowry and expenses), and they also receive when they get married (dowry and gifts). And brothers feuding over inherited property are very common.

So how does one end this bias?

Either one has no expenses on weddings, no accepting or giving. Or else the give and take should be legally, clearly defined.

Or all expenses should be shared by both ladke wale and ladki wale.

If parents were forced to give equal rights in inheritance to daughters, dowry would pinch more and might encourage them to let their daughters become self-reliant and perhaps even choose their own life partners. Dowry does not empower a daughter, while inheritance can.

When a woman dies her husband and children have equal rights on her property.

If the sons are married, their wives (the daughters in law) have no rights; all the rights are the sons.

But even if a daughter is married then she is still entitled; if she is dead, then her children have a right to the grand mother’s property. (This is often seen as wrong because we believe after all, the daughter has a husband and whatever is his or his parents’ is hers!)

The mothers in law can control this by making a will. What the last generation did does not matter.

Making a will is always a good idea but,

1. What about the daughter in law’s own inheritance? (from her parents)

Would it not be simpler if every child, male or female, married, unmarried, divorced, or widowed, inherited equally?

One of the reasons for not wanting a girl child in Haryana is that the brother who does not have male children loses his share of the agricultural property to brothers/cousins who have male children. If daughters have equal rights, they would be free to sell, farm, or hire someone to work for them, just like many sons who live in cities do.

The excuse that the daughters have to get married and relocate that is why they can’t be given a share , doesn’t make sense, since sons don’t lose their inheritance rights if they move to big cities/abroad. (Does this bias benefit women in live in relationships?)

(Not sure about the exact legalities here, please correct me if I am wrong. Accurate information, preferably with links, is welcome.)

2.  And if everybody were allowed to keep and use their ‘gifts’ as they felt appropriate, instead of handing them back (for safe keeping 🙄 ) to the one who gave the gift, there would be lesser chances of their gifts being recycled.) Maybe it should be made a crime to take back the gifts given to a bride?

3. I also feel the Will makes the daughter in law depend on the will maker’s considerations.

A son in law faces no such conditions, where does his financial security come from? Would it be better if the daughters in law’s financial security came from the same source?  Basically from self-reliance and from inheritance from their own parents. What do you think?


144 thoughts on “A daughter in law’s legal rights in her in law’s house are the same as her husband’s rights. Whatever is his, is hers.

  1. People need to live their lives without assuming that any inheritence is going to come their way. Otherwise the whole thing is so morbid – you’re sitting there with your eye on someone’s flat or gold, if only they would die! Parents also need to plan their lives without obsessing about what they are going to pass on – I see many parents dependent on their children when they are sitting on some property that they don’t want to liquidate becasue they want to pass it on to their son.

    About families taking back gifts that they give daughter-in-laws at the wedding. I think if it’s clearly understood that this is going to happen then fine. Maybe they don’t have enough gold around but still want the bride to wear a lot of gold at the wedding. If the bride wants to oblige and be a human hanger for gold for that one day as is often the case in Indian weddings, then fine. She can think of the gold in the the way that people in the west rent a tuxedo for their wedding. However, if she bought the gold herself or her family did, then she has to have control over it.

    When I go to Kerala, I do wear my Mil’s gold just to save her the embarassment of explaining to all and sundry why her daughter-in-law has no gold. Of course, I return the gold to her after. It’s a compromise we’ve reached though she would dearly love me to let her buy some gold for me, or even better buy some myself. (The fact that I am suddenly very into gold is another matter… maybe my Mil has rubbed off on me).

    And yeah, people should just spend equally for their children’s wedding – be their sons or daughters – or even better, the children should pay for it themselves. Though the latter is not always possible or fair in Indian weddings where parents have a list of some 4000 guests they ‘must’ invite, most of whom the actual bride and groom couldn’t care less about.


    • I don’t think it is clearly understood. Most bride’s take pride in their gold, their only legal possessions, they are not allowed to work to earn, and this ‘stree dhan’ is supposed to be their only financial security.


    • “People need to live their lives without assuming that any inheritence is going to come their way. ”

      This is the answer, for me. I was brought up to think that my parents ‘owed’ me nothing after my education was finished and if they chose to blow up every last rupee or donate it elsewhere on their passing, that was their right. As a parent I completely agree with the sentiment today. (I also freely admit that my parents are extremely generous with their money to me, Rahul and Vicky, but Vicky and I don’t feel that we are ‘owed’ anything.)

      I wish I could send this post and my response to my mother-in-law. We are currently in the middle of a fairly nasty situation because of my father-in-law dying intestate and she cannot believe that I covet neither her real estate, nor her FDs nor even her jewellery. As far as I’m concerned Vicky and I have all we need but we have totally failed to convince her of that!

      Yet another post that leaves me sighing deeply, IHM…


    • Bull shit man, the right which is being shown here as daughters right has never been a mandatory, 99% of women never claim their property rights from their parents but when it comes to grooms parents they start high drama, There should be strict law that if daughter getting married then half property should be given to her, what she gets from her parents is what remains with her. What groom gets from his parents will remain with him in any case. Women wants to work let her, women don’t want to work its her wish. But she should never have right on grooms parents property. If dowry is illegal then why this extortion is legal. Law is itself totally wrong and it should be changed. If need equal rights then should have equal laws………


  2. How easy if it would be if people earned their own way. I agree with The Bride, “People need to live their lives without assuming that any inheritence is going to come their way.” Too morbid for my taste.

    All this is different from what happens at our end. We don’t hand over anything to our in-laws. For that matter they don’t give us much too. Just one gold chain (whose weight depends on how much they want to show off), but of course they might make the girl’s side give that too to them (some actually do) and display it as their gift and a sari equivalent to the wedding sari itself (which is given by the bride’s parents. Well that’s it. The husband’s family is obliged to give nothing more.
    Property (ancestral) of the mother is divided up between children and the grandchildren from her daughters only. So as a daughter in law you don’t have the right for anything from your in-laws house. But of course I am talking of only one community, which is also slowly changing its tactics now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shail I agree with you and The Bride about earning one’s own way.
      But what happens when women are not permitted to work earn? They have no other financial security. Maybe they should say, “Mere paas husband hai.”

      And inheritance is a huge issue in India. Dowry is also seen by many as a compensation for inheritance (although the woman might get nothing) – and then preference for male children becomes stronger because the family loses their land if they have no male children.

      The matrilineal system seems comparatively fairer, although it doesn’t stop some people from being misogynists!

      Liked by 1 person

      • IHM, this petty gold is small compensation for a lifetime of dependence. If they needed to support themselves, that gold would barely be enough. So as women we need to stop accepting/eyeing this kind of dubious compensation and insist upon the real means of power – which is the right to be financially independent.


      • IHM, this petty gold is small compensation for a lifetime of dependence. If they needed to support themselves, that gold would barely be enough. So as women we need to stop accepting/eyeing this kind of dubious compensation and insist upon the real means of power – which is the right to be financially independent.

        Though maybe you have a point. If the groom’s family is expected to put the gold in the bride’s name, maybe they might stop giving them gold which will put an end to these weird “gifts”. Then again, I always feel even these gifts would come with strings attached – oh we gave you so much gold so you should now do what we say. For something akin to those reasons, I refused to accept anything except the most token gold chain from my mother-in-law when i got married. I just didn’t want to feel an obligation towards her on the basis of gold I didn’t even want. Maybe brides families can do the same – refuse to accept large gifts and refuse to give them also.

        me – I agree.

        Liked by 1 person

      • //Dowry is also seen by many as a compensation for inheritance (although the woman might get nothing) //
        So true. The dowry just goes to the in-laws.

        The matrilineal system is only comparatively better, especially during earlier times when the woman did not have to move to her husband’s place. Now that we do, the same problems are cropping up. We still consider our maternal house as ours but stay at the husband’s place. Right now we are at a stage when we aren’t even sure which system we are following!


      • Women whose husbands die intestate can’t even say “Mere paas husband hai.” They have to share the estate equally with adult children (can’t remember what minors get).

        People should be forced to make wills.


      • Why should you not be allowed to Earn ? If something happens to the husband the same in laws and brothers their wives will treat that widow and her kids as garbage . I feel a woman should stand up and put her foot down to make sure she is financially secured. I have seen husbands leaving the investments in the hands of thier sisters and parents instead of wife’s so she asks for her and kids expenses.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I would think that everybody should inherit equally irrespective of their situation – married, divorced, widowed, single in the absence of a will. But those who want to favour one or the other child through the will, nothing can stop them. Right? I am not very well versed in the legalities of the situation.. is there any rules regarding a minimum should be given to all children or something to that effect?


    • Prathama, I don’t know if I would want a law that dictates to whom I must leave my assets. It’s one thing to die without a will and have the law divide one’s property. But if I make a will I would like to think I have to freedom to give A everything and B nothing. It’s my property, right?


      • Exactly I think the same!! I would want to leave my property to anyone I want..

        I was just wondering if there was any such law! Not at all suggesting there should be one!


  4. I would think that everybody should inherit equally irrespective of their situation – married, divorced, widowed, single in the absence of a will. Both sides should contribute equally to a wedding and the standards of the wedding ceremonies should be agreed upon as well (otherwise one family might want extravagance that the other family cannot afford). This is also one of the contributions to reduce the burden of having a girl child. This fact might seem so natural but is far far away from being the reality even in educated, not so conservative families

    But those who want to favour one or the other child through the will, nothing can stop them. Right? I am not very well versed in the legalities of the situation.. is there any rules regarding a minimum should be given to all children or something to that effect?


  5. We need to first understand the system
    Every Mother -In – Law is in fact the Daughter -In-Law of that home .
    She has her self no rights financially over there .
    She also came with some dowry / inheritance of her own
    During period of time that money was spent on the home of her husband and this makes are insecure
    When a daughter – in -law arrives she wants her daughter -in law to do all that she was made to do .
    May be the jewelery that was given to the daughter -in -law was her mother-in -laws “streedhan”
    and that is why the mother – in -law takes it back and wants to give it to her children and not daughter – in -law

    i am of the opinion which i have said in my post in hindi on naari blog that only woman can break this vicious cirle

    firstly they need to become financially independent
    secondly they should be more supportive of each other

    woman are conditioned to stand against each other by set notions of society and the insecurity of losing what is rightfully theirs is always behind their back

    As regrads inheritance
    It comes by virtue of being born and should not be treated as right either by son or daughter
    but parents should be dividing equally everything among siblings

    DOWRY should be prohibited and only girls can do it

    We need to wake up and do better things and make our new generation more secure then what old generation did for us . Most of us do every thing as part of system or do it against the system but we need to make the system better , make every effort to protect fellow woman

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t agree that only women can break the vicious cycle.

      Enlightened husbands can be a big help too. I feel mother-in-laws get a bad rep but often they have no power in the family besides the opportunity to make some petty machinations. Although the father-in-laws stay in the backgrounds and let the Mils be the mouthpieces they are often I suspect the real conservatives.

      I sense this with my Mil, who is more broadminded when my Fil is not arround.

      In the case of dowry, I agree, the impetus will probably have to come from the girls. Refuse to give away your wealth and invest it in your own future instead. Maybe if all the families with daughters took a collective decision (and there is a shortage of women in India anyway) not to pay dowry, like citizens might do with not paying bribes to corrupt officials, grooms would have no choice.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Although the father-in-laws stay in the backgrounds and let the Mils be the mouthpieces

        that is why woman need to break this vicious cycle , they need to understand that they have more role to play other then being mouth piece


        • A woman in India has to learn to respect herself Lets start from MILs and Sils
          Also if divorces are filed in plenty and regularly by woman – some sense can be nailed in the tough unchanging culture


  6. I always have wondered why should daughter in laws have property rights on her in-law’s property when son-in-laws don’t?
    If woman gets property from both her parents and the in-laws, then shouldn’t the same be for sons too??

    In times where we talk about equality this seems very very hypocritical to me.

    Me – And the daughters in law pay with their freedom, dowry, often careers, reproductive rights, and sometimes with their lives for the bits of jewelery they get from their in laws, and if you read the link, often the only pieces they keep are what is paid for by their parents. And parents feel they have given dowry (not to the girl but her in laws and spouse) so the brothers deserve inheritance, in the end women get nothing except loss of financial independence and even emotional independence.
    About sons in law – they inherit from their parents and also get the dowry in their marriage. And the right to earn and have their spouse take care of their home and children while they grow and evolve in life (if they wish to). All the freedom, all the rights, financial independence, a lot of importance in the spouse’s home and lots more. This hypocrisy.
    I am sure most women would be quite happy to exchange places, – have someone care for their children, parents and their homes while they make a career, or else we won’t see modern marriages changing, with both the partners contributing in paid and unpaid labor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Daughter inlaws look after inlaws,husbands,relatives unconditionally,give birth to children,look after them .they do not get any leave or even a word of appreciation.Inlaws torture them mentally and girls listen to them,cry quietly as they don’t want to disturb their father or mother.Inlaws/husbands literally blackmail them as girls r sensitive n they don’t want their parents to know what they r going through.I am writing this with my experience.Our own parents tell us to adjust n suffer.I think girls should b educated made economically independent .The day my father n elder brother expired,I decided to live my own life.as in their lifetime I never wanted to hurt them ,to let them know what I am going through .I joined computer classes,inspite of my father inlaws disagreement as he wanted full time maid servant that too without salary.He would want me to stay home to pick up the phone,take milk etc .I used to send my kids to school,cook food ,complete my household work n go.My inlaws didn’t like that.I started teaching.my first salary made me confident.God gave me strength to do all this.Now my kids r working n well settled by the grace of God.But,after sacrificing my whole life,my youth,what am I getting? My inlaws will give property to their son not to dil who looked after them day n night,served their friends n relatives for years,gave birth to kids n looked after everyone.
      I think after more then 30yrs of married life,I feel marriage is most unnatural thing.u tie two individuals together. They try to dominate each other.its better to b economically independent n live with whom so ever u like till u r happy.this way girls can also look after their parents like boys do.parents bhi kehenge ladhkiyan bhi budhape ka Sahara hoti Hain.


      • Which daughter in laws you are talking about? Todays empowered, modern, educated DIL? Pity on you. You are a radical feminist don’t know anything or cleverly hiding the actual fact.


  7. I think that if we as a society stop relying on the “who inherits what” conundrums, we will also get rid of the “children as old age insurance”.
    Actually both those forms of insurance are almost idiotic- what happens if parents do not have any money, or there are no children, or children who turn out t be wastrels? Though, for minuscule amounts of money or property, I have seen whole families take on enmities for generations- or parents refuse to be of any support to their children. It is really so sad.

    Me – I agree.


  8. i also agree with the bride and shail about earning their own way. but to add to that we can’t ignore the inheritance. the control should stay with the parents as long as one is alive. after that it should be equally divided among all the children. so that way a woman gets her share from her parents. her husband gets his from his parents and both should have exclusive ownership over their shares. everything else is joint between the husband and wife.
    but there are several problems in this too. what if only one of multiple children takes care of the parents? shouldn’t that child have a bigger or even complete share?
    as far as i know property inherited from one’s father has to be passed to the sons (don’t know if daughters are allowed). but property acquired by ones self can be disposed of as one wishes. which is good in a way, but in most cases means it goes to the sons.
    also i don’t know how husband-wife each having their exclusive property/inheritance would actually work out. it might end up being unfair to one partner.

    Me – Anna’s mom how would it be unfair to one partner? If they have no inheritance? And generally they will both benefit from whatever one benefits from, since they live together… no?
    sorry not very coherent. just a few thoughts.


    • I don’t think it’s necessary that property be divided equally. If my parents decided to give my sister all their money after they passed away, I couldn’t care less. There may be reasonable explanations why parents do that – one child might simply need the money more.


  9. Why cant we simply say, “My earnings, my money and I will spend as I see fit” and go on a world cruise instead? People use their property and stuff as a bargaining tool to keep children dancing to their tunes. Therein lies the crux of the problem. We obsess with our possessions and are unhappier because of it


  10. I think reverse mortgage products are the answer. Too detailed, maybe, but a good paper for anyone who might be interested: http://www.silverinnings.com/docs/Finance/Reverse%20Mortgage/RM%20in%20India%20-%20Implication.pdf

    Take an assessment of what you own when you retire, reverse mortgage it to get an annuity for the remainder of your life, make a will saying whatever remains should go x, y or z. That’s it. Don’t guilt trip or emotionally blackmail your children by dangling the inheritance over their heads as return for the “duties” they carry out. And don’t sit around waiting for your parents to die!

    That said, this is only possibly in healthy, developed economies. It wasn’t easy for anyone to get credit in the India I grew up in. Most people either saved through their entire adult lives to buy houses or inherited them. This is still the case in most lesser-developed economies. My Nigerian colleague describes how things are in his hometown and it reminds me of the town I grew up in, decades back.

    Even renting wasn’t easy……as in, property rental wasn’t as big a business as it is today. People who needed to add to their income would sometimes rent out a room with a bathroom on their terrace. With a store-room that had to be used as a kitchen. Or sometimes not even that. You’d see a family of four trying to make it in a small room that was the bedroom, living room, kitchen, storage closet – all in one.

    My point is that when credit is easily available and it’s easy to liquidate your assets, easy to accumulate new assets on credit, easy to do business so people can be provided the facilities or services they need in order to be independent, yes, it does make sense to say move out and get your own house when you start working, or reverse mortgage your existing house to pay yourself an annuity once you retire.

    But when it’s not – and people in a lot of small towns of India live and die while they’re still a part of that town’s small/poor economy – it’s not as easy to provide answers. Personally, I’ve made peace with the fact that a lot of this dysfunction is here to stay as long as we’re still a developing country. IN SPITE OF THE LAWS. Because the judiciary in India have nothing to offer us except a 400 year backlog. When there’s no fear of the law, the law doesn’t get followed. Have the ministers who want to open more IIMs and IITs every now and then given this a thought? Where are we going to get more lawyers from? And how the #%&* are we going to clear this backlog even with their help unless we make the judiciary processes more efficient? Why is this not somebody’s plum project, as opposed to the wastage that was CWG?

    To come back to the point, what I can’t digest is when people who don’t operate under the same financial constraints as the people I mentioned above, and who are most definitely functioning just fine in metro cities where they do have the opportunities to be independent, WANT to live their lives seeped in this dysfunction because it’s “Indian Culture”.


    • I enthusiastically welcomed reverse mortgage when it was finally introduced recently in India.

      I don’t need to do it now but the fact that I have this option makes me feel a lot more secure.


      Me – It really needs to be publicised in India, I know of people who might benefit from it.


    • Yes , The Wild child is right . Reverse mortgage could make life easier for many . Inheritance is a complex issue in India and often it works like parents working and saving ( sacrificing all their personal interests ) and later dangling this carrot of inheritance over the heads of the offspring , trying to barter inheritance for the care they need in old age . The care that should have been a duty becomes a complex issue because of this. Who is inheriting among the siblings and who is taking care of the parents and how much of this and that .
      Love and care should always be unconditional and inheritance should be a matter of pride …like inheriting a collection of books or music makes me proud but the money and land assets can cause serious rifts in the family .

      The idea that everybody should earn and be independent is somewhat impractical . What with those who have to be in care giving ( circumstantial) to a family member and have to give up working ? Should they not be allowed an inheritance ?


  11. I really don’t understand kids expecting property to be given to only sons or to all children equally. I mean, it is the property of the parents and they can do whatever they want with it. If a parent wants to play favorites and leave all property to one kid then it is their choice. Of course they may face some emotional turbulence from their kids , but that is what choice is. Kids should not interact with parents or ILs solely for the sake of property. I don’t take my FIL out to his favorite joints when he visits us because I want his flat. It is because over a course of time I have developed a relationship with him and also because he is important part of my spouse and hence me.

    Me – But clueless, in Haryana if a couple doesn’t have any male children, their agricultural property cannot be willed to their daughters, which is one of the reasons for preferring male children.
    This is how it works,
    i. First we make a rule that a girl child sees marriage as her life-purpose,
    ii. then we make another rule that when she marries she relocates to her spouse’s home
    iii. and then we use that as a reason to disinherit her,
    iv. and then we use that to not want her to be born. And so we opt for female feticide.


  12. I am not legally too knowledgeable about the rights of sons/daughters/sons-in-law and daughters-in-law

    But I am wondering about a corollary to the subject of this blog post.
    Can we also say:
    A son-in- law’s legal rights in his in-law’s house are the same as his wife’s rights. Whatever is hers, is his.

    At the risk of digressing a little, I have a few commonsense suggestions/advice to all with property/jewelery and other assets.

    Don’t wait.
    Do it now!
    I did it two years ago after procrastinating for years.

    I left EVERYTHING that now belongs to us jointly, to my wife in case I predecease her.
    If she predeceases me, I have willed one immovable property to my son and another to my daughter.

    I have also willed that all our liquid assets are to be shared 50 – 50 between my son and daughter.

    I made a draft of my will, and sent it to my son and daughter.
    They heartily welcomed it and told me I was at full liberty to write whatever I wanted and that they had no expectations from me. I was touched by my son’s suggestion that I must set apart a portion for some charity.

    The only minor difficulty I had was to convince my tearful daughter over the telephone that all was well with me and that I was not expecting to die soon. She was most upset with the subject of a will coming up suddenly with all its connotations. Shubh Shubh bolo! was her reaction to my letter sending the draft.

    I had to assure her I was hale and hearty and was merely doing what is necessary after postponing it for an unpardonably long time. I must admit, the spur was a sudden health problem which I had kept a secret from my children. I was affected by a minor heart ailment and had to have an angioplasty done. They implanted two stents inside me. I am fine now.

    My wife has also done something very practical.
    As soon as she got herself a good camera phone and learned how to use it, she photographed every single item of family jewelery, numbered it and prepared a statement giving details of the no of carats, weight, and value as on date.
    These are all put in a folder, encrypted and stored on line with access to me, and my children only. She has identified which of these must go to my daughter and which to my son.
    Having been a bank employee she also maintains a spreadsheet giving details of bank accounts, investments, shares, LIC policies, fixed deposits, contents of bank lockers, etc etc. The spreadsheet is updated periodically, password protected and accessible to me and my children only.

    I must say, I never thought of this in spite of being technologically more savvy than her. I recommend it to all who haven’t done so.



  13. But even if a daughter is married then she is still entitled; if she is dead, then her children have a right to the grand mother’s property. (This is often seen as wrong because we believe after all, the daughter has a husband and whatever is his or his parents’ is hers!)
    I’ve commented this before in this blog and am repeating it. In Kerala Nair families, the inheritance passes on through the daughters. Irrespective of who dies or is divorced or whatever, the ancestral house goes on to the daughter and daughter’s daughter. This system empowers the daughter to a large extent and she never becomes ‘paraya dhan’. She has equal rights in the house whether she is married or not.
    Dowry cannot empower a girl the way inheritance does. I totally agree.

    And what is this nonsense about ‘safe keeping’ with the in-laws and being ‘allowed’ to wear one piece as per the in-laws liking?? I may keep some jewellery with my mother for safekeeping (because I may not have opened a locker in the city I am living), or maybe I may keep some with my in-laws for convenience’s sake since I may have to have some handy while going for marriages, functions etc. from the in-laws house and cant keep running back to my mother (who lives in a different city) each time.

    That apart, I intend to keep all my stuff to myself, thank you very much. Not that I don’t trust my in-laws. They were the first ones who said we can open a locker for you if that’s convenient, you can keep all the stuff there and take the key with you. We dont want your jewellery, we are marrying our son to the girl. That’s what they told my dad….and he had no argument to say in return 🙂


    • Wouldn’t it be fairer to just have male and female children having equal rights? The matrilineal system is much touted but I have read critiques of how it actually works in practice – with the maternal uncles largely controlling the management of the property behind the scenes, since the women were not given enough education to do so. If we are working towards an ideal system, I don’t see why one child should get more or less property based on gender alone.


      • True maternal uncles used to control it… this is around two generations back. But now with nuclear families coming in, that has been eliminated but the system of passing it onto the girl child still remains.

        Of course the ideal situation would be where both the boy and girl get equal rights. No two words there.


  14. @The Bride: “People need to live their lives without assuming that any inheritence is going to come their way’ – exactly what I think..

    and Ritu-ji..LOL on the world cruise 🙂

    1. Make a will…I lost my parent’s closest friends to a bizzare accident (both aunty and uncle died of bee bites in Panchgani!) and their kids went crazy trying to prove to the world that they were the children and needed money to the insurance guys to the company guys and what not, just because aunty uncle didnt have a will and didnt have a copy of their marriage certificate (In those days, there were no marriage certificates I think)…the daughter was married but the son was still in college..I shudder to think how many times I have gone and begged to the authorities to true copy their death certificates (which was in Hindi since the incident happened in MP) I still get tears in my eyes…I used to stand for hours together saying ‘saheb please kari do ne please kari do ne’ (sir please do it please do it)

    2. Try and become financially independent..I think its very very important

    3. Dont bother too much about inheritance..your parents did a wonderful job raising you, dont expect them to provide for you when they are old and tired in life or after they die

    4. Remember that your sister is as much a part of your parents as much as you and deserves equal share in everything

    5. Remember that your DIL is after all married to your son and after you are gone, she will be the one to take care of the family..so why not just give it to her

    @GV-ji – I think what you and your wife did is wonderful 🙂


    • I am not sure about the 5th point R’s mom… if it’s in her son’s name, it would anyway be shared by the daughter in law, right? Like whatever the daughter in law inherits from her parents would be shared by the son, but would belong to the dil.
      I feel the son and dil could will their assets to each other instead.
      What do you think?


  15. the point is that there is no problem till the time the wife and husband share a perfect chord .
    the problem arises whenever there is a discord
    when husbands dont share what they get with their wife


  16. I think there should be an enforcement of will. The moment you are making an investment, it should be willed. Else in case of death, the investment goes to the government.


  17. What if the women’s parents exclude her from their will for whatever reasons? Where does her financial security come from then? Excluding a son isn’t very common, so sons go around feeling very secure that they will inherit.
    The only solution is for every women to be financially independent. I believe in equal distribution of property between the children as well. I also agree about the WILL. Make it now!

    Me and my husband have long decided that we don’t want any inheritance from either side of the family. Told my BIL who lives in India that we dont want any share in the ancesteral property he inhabits at the moment (can’t bother with the long legal battles we may have to go through to have a claim in the inheritance). My parents dont have any property of their own but my dad has (or should have) some lumpsum amount to take care of any medical emergencies etc and his pension which my mum is entitled too as well. We have also decided that we wont live with any of our children, if we can help it, in our old age ( to avoid playing favourites and I like living independently in MY house).
    Also we have made a WILL about 6yrs back that after us everything is equally divided between my son and daughter. Even though my kids are still quite young, have informed them ( if they ever feel anxious about what will happen to them if we both pass away while they are still young) about the WILL , our assets so far, whom to contact, who is our lawyer, the trustee till they attain a certain age etc to assure them that they will be well looked after and they shouldn’t panic. Other than that we just plan to give a good education to them so that they can have their own careers, build their own assets and so on.


  18. Hi
    First time on your blog- loved it! I work for the non profit sector where we do a lot of work around creating awareness on legal issues for women. So it was refreshing to see it on a blog and being discussed. You know the thing about India that bothers me is that though we have a lot of legal provisions the social sanctions are more stringent! A daughter gives up her property rights willingly for her brother because she believes that it is right for her to exercise that right… now what do you say to that? About DIL… well it is certainly a tricky situation.. most families never treat a DIL like the daughter but wait .. do they even treat their daughter right?


  19. Some very excellent suggestions, and frankly I myself got some good ideas for financial planning! I completely agree with The Bride on “People need to live their lives without assuming that any inheritence is going to come their way.” It pretty much sums up the situation. It IS very morbid to sit and wait for people to die so you can have some more property!

    We Indians are very strange in this matter. We slog all our lives to gather and gain money and property, and when the time comes to use it in old age either for requirements like medical expenses or for enjoying ourselves, we go and sit on it and look towards the children to contribute. Or we hang it in front of their eyes for manipulating them. And when we die, the children who were manipulated get the property, but THEY sit on it too, and the cycle is repeated. What we need is to get rid of the hoarding mentality, and enjoy the wealth we have created, and use it for our and other’s good.


  20. IHM, I feel like this is a very strange perspective to take on these issues.

    Let me give you an analogy:

    Say a woman writes to you for help saying her husband is sleeping with the neighbor, she does not like this, what should she do? So you advise her totalk to her husband, and if that doesn’t work then maybe leave him.

    Then she tells you she cannot leave her husband because he keeps her locked up in the house, tied by chains to the wall so that she cannot escape.

    After hearing this, would you still continue to puzzle over how to help this woman deal with her husband’s infidelity? Doesn’t that problem pale in comparison to the problem of the CHAINS?


    Similarly, in this issue, some women need to know how to deal with the issue of their inlaws’ property. The thing is, laws already exist for these matters – I don’t think DILs and SILs have any claim on their inlaws’ property, except for the claim they have very indirectly through their spouse (i.e. laws that say whatever your husband or wife has is half yours, so if your wife or husband gets a big property settlement then after the settlement you have claim over half of it). I think these laws are perfectly fine and need no changing.

    To argue that perhaps DILs should have a claim on her inlaws’ property because they might not be allowing her to earn independently, or because they might be forcing her to do all the housework for them, is very strange. Suddenly you have someone telling you they are in CHAINS and you’re still focusing on the petty matter of inheritance! The fact that the inlaws don’t allow her to earn, or the fact that they are keeping her essentially as an unpaid domestic servant in their house, *that* is what is screaming to be fixed, not the laws regarding inheritance!


    • the issue is that the streedhan of dil if its in custody of mil then legally it belongs to dil
      but hardly any dil has any proof to prove this so ultimately after the demise of mil
      all the things get divided between , son , daughter and husband of mil
      which may include the streedhan of dil which is legally hers

      streedhan is supposed to be the financial security of the dil and in case the dil is not working then its all the more important that she should know how to secure the streedhan and her share in her husbands share


      • I think Samosaofdoom’s point is that this streedhan is not really financially security anyway so why waste energy on it? If a woman’s husband passes away and she is not working, is she really going to be able to support herself and her children on some pieces of gold? I think not. Women need to be aware that if they are not earning thier own money, they are putting themselves in a financially insecure position and if they choose to do this for the sake of raising children, then they need to be financially compensate in equal measure. That is financial security… not some few pieces of gold.

        me – I agree. Instead of stree dhan and dowry and gifts on rakhee, women should get equal share in inheritance. (I agree it’s made a big deal of, but if it there, it might as well be equal for all children.)


  21. Hello IHM readers.

    I just tried this experiment at Shail’s blog.
    I am waiting for feedback from her.
    I thought I could try this out here too.

    Sometimes, I would like to speak rather than type.
    I have a method and I would like to see how it works.
    Simply click on the link below or copy and paste it in your browser window.


    You will be able to hear me speak to you without disturbing you with a phone call, without you having to download and install any software.
    You can hear me speak as many times as you want, at your own convenience.
    You can also pass on my message to others.
    Best of all, it’s free!

    All you need to do is to turn on your speakers and wait for the audio file to stream.
    Do let me know how this worked on your computer. You should adjust the volume for best results.

    Regards to all


  22. Why should a DIL get in-laws property? i don’t agree with that at all. She should keep whatever gifts /jewls her in-las gave her that’s it. Her in-laws property is split evenly between their kids or as per their wish, if the reciepient is her husband then after that — it’s hers by way of being her husbands..

    that’s the way it works in my family. My parents will give their property to whomever they desire, ( well they split it equally betweenme and my brother) and if i happen to die it will go to my husband and kids… my mom’s jewellary was split even between my bro and me and my brothers wife uses the jewels that was in my brothers keeping…

    Likewise my in-laws on passing – their property went equally to the 4 siblings ( 3brothers and 1 sister) and my mother-in-laws jewellary was split even, however we 3 co-sis felt that it held some sentimental value to her daughter more than us … so we rtained a piece each for our kids as a memory of their grandmother and turned the bulk of it to her daughter…my SIL who is stiff refusing to take it all 🙂 …


  23. IHM, Love your blog.Recent visitor and got hooked 🙂

    I don’t think the DIL should inherit her in-laws properties. Whatever belongs to the parents maybe be divided between the children(son & daughter) and if the IL’s wish they can leave some for their DIL’s.
    Making this a law does not make sense because it is not fair. The right way to fight for this is to completely eradicate this nonsensical system of DIL being “sent away” to the groom’s house and making her paraya dhan etc. This requires a social change and not a legal one.

    The right approach in my opinion is to change the mind set of people and not change the law to make it unfair.


  24. Archaic and convoluted traditions and systems!!!!! Loved your post, IHM. I have never thought on these lines before. It is interesting really – if the bride is expected to leave her family/house and join another family, then why not be entitled to the same rights as the other members in the family? I am sure in-laws will resent this. But hey! They resent everything, anyway. Might as well help the new bride establish a sort of role/position within the family structure, so people learn to respect each other, and accept that the DIL is not a ‘stranger’ but an ‘integral part’ of the family.


    • Actually I am not sure Pal, I just put forward some points, I feel everybody should inherit from their own parents – because what if they don’t marry?? Then they can’t say, ‘mere paas husband hai’.


      • Or maybe we need to stop seeing the bride as “leaving” her house. That way, she would be as much her parent’s child as her brothers, and would presumably get her fair share from them, and if her in-laws also see her as their child, they can leave her something… or not. I think it’s more natural to expect parents to see their own child as their child and want to give their ancestral stuff to her.

        Me – I agree. All this getting their share from in laws means an unmarried or widowed sister is seen as a burden on her brothers – instead of a rightful resident in her own parents’ home. Remember the bua in Sholay and DDLJ?


  25. IHM,

    Equal inheritance for daughters and sons makes so much more sense than any other sort of inheritance for DILs or SILs.. That is the only way this concept of paraya dhan and dowry could be eliminated in the long run.

    Of course, I don’t think anybody should ‘expect’ any inheritance, as it is totally upto the parents to give or not.. but in the circumstances that there is an inheritance – why not have it equal?

    The situation today is that dowry is given as part of a girl’s inheritance, which more often than not does not even reach her. If it had been an inheritance, it would definitely empower a woman far more, and also help her achieve financial independence. One of the landladies I had in London, once mentioned that she bought a flat with some money that she inherited, and later she turned it into a business- a property maintenance and rental business – which she managed just because of that inheritance.

    Me – Exactly my thoughts Smitha!!


  26. IHM,

    First on your blog. Your points are interesting and topical…They are new too for me. A mother-in-law decorating her incoming DIL with jewelery is new to me. In Kerala that is unheard of.

    I think most of these practices started with good intentions but as time went by turned into causing conflicts and disunity because of greed and lack of love.

    But such customary practices have to change in line with the need of the time. Wealth and money are for inheriting. But I believe it should be carried out through open discussions and reaching consensus. It is sad to see how in many Indian families sibling relationships are ruined when their inheritance is shared.

    About the mother-in-laws wealth. Can it not remain as a family property for ever. When the mother-in-law passes away the DIL becomes the keeper of it. She does not inherit it. The Son-in-law I believe need not inherit anything because he inherits wealth from his family.


    • But what if a woman does not marry? Or if the mother in law does not like her? Or if she is widowed/divorced/separated?
      Wouldn’t it better if everybody inherited from their own parents instead? Then women will not have to depend on their spouse’s inheritance?


    • “The Son-in-law I believe need not inherit anything because he inherits wealth from his family.” – So does the daughter. Why double standards? MIL’s wealth goes to Son……. I am a Nair myself….. from Irinjalakkuda….
      Nairs also practised polyandry……. shall we in the name of tradition start polyandry? The need of the hour is to be fair……
      Otherwise we will end up like the proverb – in malayalam – naiyaru pudicha pulivaalu.
      I am writing my full name for the first time here……..


  27. Dear All,
    Thanks a lot for the great knowledge.My mother in law kept all my jewellry after marriage ….and whatever gold she gave me on my engagement, she claimed it was her’s ..does not belong to me..that to be when my father gave them 5 lakh cash…car …everything,top of that I live in another city …so didnot use single gift of my marriage …not even cash..I never knew that what ever given to girl during marriage is stridhaan ….thanks a lot for this blog


  28. Pingback: Should couples’ assets be treated as joint property? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  29. I do not expect any shares in my wife’s properties, nor am I willing to let har have a share in what would be my inheritance. full stop.
    After marriage, I would be willing to have a joint account where both of us put in our salaries. If she refuses. fine. But I am not paying for her groceries, clothes nothing. If she is not willing to share as I do, let her pay every penny from her salary for what she needs. And utility bills will be 50-50. Another full stop.
    Where is the insecurity? Why the hell did she marry me if she was not sure about me? I did not ask her to hurry up and marry before knowing me. If she trusts me enough to share, let her marry. If not look she could have looked elsewhere.
    When I care for her, her emotions, feelings and when i am unselfish, I do expect the same. It is not one way traffic. If she tries to be selfish, I can be more selfish.
    There will not be any property bought with split contributions. So in case of a separation, what is mine is mine. She can take what is hers.
    If she is willing to share when I share, it’s good. If she tries to show her selfish face and be petty, I can be pettier.


    • Dear Arunprakash,
      Your expectations are reasonable, considering you are willing to be transparent.
      If you are single and do not know who you’d share your life with, I suggest you have an open mind and approach.
      I am not taking anything away from you for writing that comment – spoken like a man – but I get the feeling you are a little, I mean a little, apprehensive about women.
      No body wants to come into a marriage for getting a divorce or being petty. All want to live happily. Only when people turn selfish things are ugly.
      It’s all about taking that time to know each other, the likes and dislikes, knowing each other’s personalities, and working with the available.
      I am sure with your confidence you will be a good life partner, but do not have pre-conceived notions about your wife even before she comes.
      Even today, we consider divorce as a last resort to escape. No mature lady would file for a divorce for simple fights as some men think.
      Do not expect her to share everything in the first few months – give her some time, and take your time too – you never know what sort of person she’d turn out to be, what will you do if you give her access too early and she misuses? So unless you’ve lived with her for atleast a year. None can wear a mask for so long. Then share. Today’s world is like that. you cannot trust any1 easily.
      It’s the same precaution we also take. Once girls trust, we trust. really. Once it is broken, it’s next to impossible to regain that trust.
      Good luck and I wish you have a happy lifelong marriage.


    • Arun,
      What you think most men today have the same notion, becuase thats fair and just.But once after marriage, she even if earning will be reluctatnt to share in household expenses as traditionally you will be seen as the provider ( no matter if she earns, she will play the female card) and the macho male will have to provide for all the household expenses and all other expenses also, and because you can not ask for your wife’s salary legally, she will do watever she wants to do, make a saving for herself, send it to her parents ( of course she can)…but then you cant do that.So better do not marry.
      Its better not to marry, today’s girls have no respect for emotions, they are just after your money and if that does not work , after your propert and more money as alimony.


  30. Pingback: Easier divorce and Equal rights in Marital property. Because Marriage and Motherhood should not mean lost opportunities for women. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  31. Pingback: An email: “…before the child has actually arrived she has already given me a lecture about paternal grandparents’ rights over the child.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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  33. Was searching for similar topic and looked at u r blog. Well I don’t think DIL should have any claim or right on mother-in-law property. Already we seeing use/mis-use of DIL rights and this is at-least one option you can have to keep your Mom safe, if u r another sibling is going through rough patch in his marriage.


  34. Pingback: An email: My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  35. Pingback: Haryana panchayat cuts off married girls from parents’ property | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  36. Pingback: My wife will inherit my family’s property, her brothers too will share their property with their respective wives. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  37. i have a question.does mother in law has right to interfere in the dresses of daughter in law that what she wear and what not be wear????coz every one want to live by his or her way…..and kya hume apne parents se milne jaane k liye v in lawz ke permission leni padti hei…if u have any suggestions and answer then please help me….


  38. While you present facts you should present both sides and then look for a solution. take my community for instance at the time of marriage the expense itself is huge that was spent on my sister’s wedding, then of course was the gifting which was gold jewellery and a plot of land ass per standard community operating procedure. Now my parents need to be taken care of entirely by me anything from the daughters’s is paap so from medical bills to daily expenses all is on me then why should my sister get an equal share?? it can be shared equally after deduction of the above costs. and this is not a one house situation this is true for most of my community. Hence i don’t agree with ur give equally to daughters funda 😛



    • give your daughters equally also means give them a right to take care of their parents
      give them the right to give mukhagni to their parents

      your community wants to keep treating their daughtes as outsiders and only feel their sons are their own

      as soon as they marry their daughters they feel they have done their duty and the duty of the daughter is not for them but for their in laws , who in turn never feel daughter in law as a member of their family

      is your wife treated as a family member in ur house
      is she participates in every desicion of your house hold or is merely your wife who
      has no right factually this post is all about that


      • I think we make things complex:
        Simply put it can be….
        A daughter and her brothers should have share ( inherited or whatever) in their parents property, and just as the sons are educated and self reliant the daughters should also be rather than depending on their future husband.Another is about the expenses on the marriage of the girl, if the father wants to spend money on her daughter’s marriage, let him do, who are the brothers to crib, if the father wants to spend on the marriage and then share his property equally.But now a daughter should not start playing sati savitri and try to refuse share in her parents’ property.

        As for the daughter when she marries, she should not expect, neither have legally any claim on her parents in laws property, except for any gold that she received as gift, but again if it is a gift,it can not be “rightfully” hers.Only the sons and daughters or grandsons,granddaughters can have property right.


  39. What if my parents make there will and give there all property to there 1 grand daughter, rest they have 3 daughters and 2 another grand daughters nothing for them should daughters are fight for that after they died


    • parent can will to anyone
      the will can be contested
      all daughters have equal right and they can claim their right from court of law if they feel they were denied due to some conspiracy etc
      but its a long fight


  40. Pingback: How can the society ensure that marriage (and homemaking) does not result in women becoming financially dependent on their husbands? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  41. hi all,plz help me with legal rights along IPC,
    I got married 9 month back, my mother in law took the which has been given by my parents, for which she was telling before marriage that she dont want anything whatever my parent will give she will credited in my account….but she took all telling me dat why your father has given this in front of all now it s mine,
    And she took all the jewellery which has been given by her and the jewellery which my parents given to my husband and his family members..and told me that “ab tera kuch nhi hai iss ghar me”.
    how i will get my stuff back and what case i can raise against her.
    plz help.


    • contact your parents and ask them to mediate
      contact the police station near you but then u need to have all receipts to prove the purchase was made by ur parents
      dowry is prohibited to mil cant claim it


      • Dear rachna,
        thnks for suggestion…but still not clear about the receipts and all, she took the money which has been given by my parents and the jwellery which in laws has given to me at the time of baraat arrival and can say goud bharaai…i have video recording of that…can this help me.


  42. Any suggestions how Mom can make Son and his family move out of her House. Well my brother is staying in my Mom’s house and there is lot of trouble between Mom and my sister-in-law. My brother is saying he will move but it is not happening for last few months and my mom health is getting affected.
    What are the options my Mom have? She still wants my brother to have share in inheritance and doesn’t want to remove him. Only thing she wants they move out , is there any way to force them to move out ?


    • contact the nearest police station and they help because now there is a law that senior citizens can get there home evacuated from children living there
      but it the property is in name of your father then you your brother and mother all have equal right to live there


  43. Hi All, plz advice. I moved out of my matrimonal house after one month of my marriage because of my husband and his family member’s behaviour. My all jewellery (paternal+in laws) and money given to them is with them only and now they are not ready to give us back despite I and my family want divorce. In any way are they eligible to keep what was given to me and the money that was given by my father if we proceed for divorce?


  44. It seems that person saying the article is totally unaware of the facts and in this times of rapid growth and self sustenance, he/ she is sick with idea of grabbing other’s property. I think making oneself self-sustained is more important than to write articles like this which generate such ideas of grabbing etc.

    The whole purpose of marriage is two person live happily. Politicians makes law not merely for the societal benefits but for their own benefit of dividing society into parts, muslims, hindu, christians, Dalits / Non Dalits and now new castes Men & Women as more they fight , more will polictician gain. We must know in modern times even the daughters are entitled to inherit the property from their own fathers as much as their sons. So why look to in laws’s property. Now
    Bias in laws only create greater divide in society. It would have been better if we say every women when when she is a daughter of some body is also a mother of some male child in future. What will happen if the same happens to her then.

    Actually one needs to understand that one is not complete without another, whether it is man or woman. Only together they complete the society, not alone and we do-not live in isolation. While a man tortures the wife, he forgets that the same too can happen to his / her daughter / sister or even to his mother by his father. Same goes for a woman. If the same laws / rules that she while being young propounds applies to her son or her being mother in law to a girl, then how would she feel.

    It is the aptitude, we should understand for each gender. While admittedly, generally women is warm and caring & full of compassion, there are cases of man also raising their children better than their wives alone while their wives are no longer and world is full of such examples. Our own Pandit Nehru had upbrought her daughter Mrs. Indira Gandhi so well and not just that gave her all moorings and training for being a tough & very good Politician, Human Being & Prime Minister, which may / might not have been if Hon’ble Mrs.Kamla Nehru would have been there. In that case may be Mrs. Indira Gandhi might have been contended to follow simply her mother’s footsteps as simple homely Lady and not her other aspects we would had been deprived of such a great PM in such a case.

    Again in case of any external threat to family, generally men folk responds much faster than women, because it is their aptitude and they are innately like that. We generally criticise the man for being rude and fightsome, but it is this quality of them which comes to help in such adversary. Even in such cases women expect their family males to do so and while they are not there, even the women do the same for other less empowered & old in the family

    So roles get change with time and nothing is constant.

    So I think we should think everything from this perspective and then decide. We should simply ape what our politicians say or try to champion for and it is not proved always for betterment. We should ask our politicians to simply act as our nominee or proxy in the Parliament or legislature and not as fate decider and do as we the society wants. They should first seek our mandate in each of our constituency and vote as per that and not otherwise.
    They can if they so desire seek vote online on internet in their constituency and then vote as per mandate of constituency in the Parliament or other legislative bodies. In such case only laws would be much beneficial and just. We also should in such case before propounding anything, consider from all angles.



    • It seems that person saying the article is totally unaware of the facts and in this times of rapid growth and self sustenance, he/ she is sick with idea of grabbing other’s property.

      Actually, that didn’t occur to me when I read this blog post and I don’t think it occurred to the writer. What I read was saying that if a mother in law passes away without a will, everything that belonged to the DIL (but kept with the MIL), would go to the DIL. What’s so wrong about that? If I died and my DIL got her own jewellery back, why would I mind that? I am dead, and the jewellery was gifted to her to begin with. Where is the ‘grabbing issue’?

      every women when when she is a daughter of some body is also a mother of some male child in future
      How can every woman be the mother of a son in the future? By killing girl babies?

      So why look to in laws’s property.
      This post is about what is the DIL’s property, her own jewellery. Besides, if my in-laws want to have as much right on me as they have on their son, then I must have as much right on them/their property as their son does. Right?

      generally women is warm and caring & full of compassion
      So you’ve done research on this, have you? Surprisingly I’m feeling none of those towards you at this moment, despite your great effort at stereotyping.

      in case of any external threat to family, generally men folk responds much faster than women
      Do you live in a village in India where you face physical threats that ‘men’ need to handle? What if 50 men attack your family, will the man of your family have the ‘aptitude’ to defend the woman then? In most of the world, the more likely threat at the moment to anyone’s family is loss of jobs. Men and women are equally capable of supporting their families financially. So, what’s your point?

      In such case only laws would be much beneficial and just.
      So the DIL getting her own jewellery as inheritance if the MIL passes away is not just? She’s only getting her own things back.. how’s that unjust?


  45. Somewhere, I feel that there should be no inheritance at all. No inheritance would mean everyone have to take care of their families themselves generations after generations. No inheritance would mean no dowry, no female foeticide, no family politics, no conspiracy, no killing family members for money, less consumption of gold which would benefit the economy as a whole too. This one inheritance has only given birth to many crimes and sins and has taken away the peace of homes and the entire society at large.

    Say for example, if I become very rich today, and I decide not to pass-on any property and money to my children, and liquidate my entire wealth to the economy, this way I make my children head-strong, add value to economy and give others the chance to survive and become rich. This race for wealth has only made us animals, isn’t it? If we can eradicate the root cause, I hope we can build a better and independent country.


  46. let us all indians protect the voiceless millions of widows who are tortured by their inlaws and lets spread this message to every indian to protect the widows


  47. Inheritence to DIL is already covered under law: Hindu male dies intestate then assets goes to son if alive (indirectly to DIL) / if son not alive then to DIL as widow of a pre-deceased son.

    Inheritence to DIL is already covered under law: Hindu male dies intestate then assets goes to daughter if alive (indirectly to SonIL) / if daughter not alive then SonIL does not gets anything but his son & daughter gets a share

    In case of Hindu female dying intestate source of assets is to be taken under consideration


  48. Pingback: “Her husband has told her she can leave if she wishes, she does not have a steady income of her own.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  49. I sometimes wonder why women put up with husbands who don’t allow them to earn.

    Granted, for many there is no choice because they come from poor families. They don’t have much education, certainly not enough to earn their own way. There may be no social support for them unless they remain in the marriage. Fair enough, that’s a clear social issue. Nobody should have to choose between all their relationships at once and work (though I’ve seen ladies who do that courageously and sometimes relatives come crawling back).

    Then there are women who have the education to put their foot down and say: I’m working. That’s that … when you see such women not working, and complaining about not getting permission, I wonder whether it’s about changing the society around women, or about women learning to make assertive life-choices. I’d say much more of the latter. Sometimes you just have to muster the courage to stand firm about what you deserve and your own worth – and then let the consequences play out as they do despite your best efforts to soothe and assuage all feelings. .


  50. There are a lot of sites talking about giving equal rights to Daughter in Law and also fight for the cause. But, why doesn’t anyone define the duties of a daughter in law in her in-laws house? As is the case for a husband and his duties are defined but what about the duties and responsibilities for a Daughter in law? Who cares for husband and his ailing parents if daughter in law files false cases against them? See, idea is fighting for rights are good but if you actually wants equality then equality in all fields including roles and responsibilities has to defined before even speaking about daughter in laws rights. Because right comes only with good actions. And this includes both men and women.


  51. Pingback: “Women are forced by in-laws to get share in her parents property. This creates a divide between brothers and sisters.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  52. The tone of this article is terrible. So what if the MIL gives the DIL some nice jewels to wear for the marriage ceremony and then takes back her own stuff? It is an absurdly unfair law that these jewels automatically become her “stree dhan”.

    Basically anything that parents of the groom own that is used during the wedding should automatically become the bride’s property? So, they bring the DIL to their house in a car, now the car is the DIL’s property? The marriage reception is held in the in-laws’ house, so now the DIL owns their house as well?

    Baap re, when my new bhabhi comes and asks me…extra pen hai? I am sure to say NO! I had no idea anything she touches or uses for 1 second becomes her personal property forever.


  53. Pingback: Should women be given a share in residential property of the husband, including inherited and inheritable property? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  54. Pingback: Some basic questions on joint family finances and daughters in law. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  55. Pingback: “I have to seek permission for visiting parents. My phone bill has to be reasonable. My expenses nominal. And my desires non-existent.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  56. Dear All,
    I’m 47 yrs. old and have two children; son 13 yrs, daughter 10 yrs.
    I’m doing a small business from a place which is my father’s property. My father used me to construct a building on that land. Now he is telling me to vacate the property. What should I do.


  57. Pingback: “What if I let go the gold and money, not that I am rich, but they won’t give me a divorce easily…” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  58. It’s a great tragedy that according to Indian culture son has to take care of their parents and inheritance is divided equally for both son and daughters ; then if husband tortures his wife to bring money or property from father in law then it’s a crime in India; second thing is daughters are enjoying both the properties I.e. fathers and father in law’s ; how are these rules made in India? When an ordinance is passed one has to think about the pros and cons of the ordinance.


  59. Daughter in law was not allowed to earn, didn’t get much jewellery from father.whole life women work for the family, children does not save anything for her, and in her old age if she does not get share in husbands property she will have nothing but beg or stay at the mercy of in laws and children.Todays teenagers don’t understand women’s health and necessities at old age of women when she is not able to work. How can she live?Court can decide no of years and sacrifice of woman for family. Men take oath at wedding that tan, man and Dhan will be equally divided with wife in Hindu marriage.why you forget this?


  60. If Daughter in laws doesn’t have right to property of inlaws then can the husband forcefully throw out her wife out of his house by saying that she doesn’t have right to this place


  61. Pingback: An update: ‘I am told that I am very wrong since I think of money, but is it not an important factor here?’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  62. Kindly any one please reply for this……..
    I Would like to know the rights of widow(NO KIDS) in her matrimonial house property.
    When there is a dispute (between her and her inlaws)Before her husband dies.


  63. Not only the females, if properly calculated males are in the majority side who are destroyed after the marriage, some parents controls the bride after she has been married exceeding to the limit and threatens for fake judicial complaints against him and make the groom live a horrible life. I am a victim of such. So when all ladies boosts up their problem do not forget that due to some horrible female home maker some of your brothers are suffering too and the law enforcement is always favoring to females and innocent people are forced to stay in jail and become jobless and forced to think about suicide.


  64. Pingback: “I remember how tensed my family was at the time of my marriage 2 years back. Every time they were forced to do ‘Milnis and Teekas with heavy envelopes’.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  65. I know this is an old post but a word here. A lady in Punjab got a share of her in laws property through “adverse possession” i.e. if you have stayed in someones house without paying rent for more than 22 years. Consider this all you ladies who get kicked out of in laws home after death of husband or simply because that is what men and their parents do.


  66. Pingback: “When my first pay check came, my MIL made a huge drama about how I am not informing them about my finances…” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  67. here i need to know 6 years back my father sold our house to my sister in law name (for some financial reasons) and now we need to take that house back to us, even she is ready to give back that house – what is the solution for this and what is the procedure to be followed to make that house in my father name


  68. Pingback: An email from the Accused Guy: ‘I would request all to respond once again after reading the other side of it.’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  69. Sir this is to request you that my both parents are alive and am single brother with three sisters but my father have had transfered all property to my mother which belongs to my grand father and my mother want to tramsper this property to my sister. What should I do


  70. what will happen if husband died,and he have a sister(widow), parents and daughter.if ladies want to go far from this family,what she got from this family…


  71. Firstly, the article is very well written and very good! I too come from a family which believes that all the inheritance must go the son. My parents are well off and my brother too is doing good so that makes him inherit the entire world of my parents. My wedding was a very simple one in which my inlaws and my husband shared 50 % of the cost ( my husband insisted my in-laws, though my in-laws were not happy with this). My inlaws believe in equality and they have made it very clear that 50% of the property shall go to my husband and the rest to his sister. I appreciate the way my in laws have managed this entire issue, but my mother does not believe in such a thing. They believe daughters should not get a penny. I have never questioned my parents belief but it made me sure of one thing in life that thinking about inheritance is a waste of time. Make ur own money , no matter how many years it takes. Become self reliant, save your money well. Become sensible and today I can say with pride that i am independent working women who refuses to take any money from any side. me and my husband believe that 50% of his share , we shall give away to his sister. so let our siblings get 100% and we will earn our own living wothout any expectations. Some find us insane, but we know we are correct. teach your child to become self reliant. This can only happen if we change our thinking. pls dont leave your daughters on the mercy of her in-laws. Yes, I also dont have with me any jewellery given by my mother in law. This article was correct in that aspect.


  72. Pingback: An email: “I cannot stay in this marriage for society anymore. But I’m so so scared of what people will say.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  73. I’m vani I lost my husband recently. We don’t have child. Our joint family. Did I get property. I have any right in my father in laws property. Becoze my husband don’t have any property.


  74. Yes u r right sir one thing is this what a daughter in law do if her husband is not independent and neither she herself both depend on father in law property and father in law and mother in law have bad temperament daughter in law feel impossible to live with them in this situation what she can do


  75. Pingback: “I am tempted to ask- does she mean girls who have no brothers should send money to their parents as well?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  76. Pingback: “A Delhi court has refused alimony and advised the wife to find a job. Now that’s Equality.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  77. Pingback: “I saw my sister was on the first floor and she was locked and she was crying badly with her daughter.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  78. My son make suside with his wife dispute he have two childrens one girl 6 years and one son 3 years after the death she has gone with her parents. Now what grandparents right to meet with his grandchildrens. Can they take childrens in his custody. Doughtere in low 27 year old and she will marry with some one.


  79. Residential accommodation owned by married daughter and was given to her parents and brother for living purpose. All siblings have died except mother and brothers wife are alive and staying in same house. Can brothers wife claim on the property which is not owned by them.


  80. In my view its good tht there shall be equal partition of property between sons n daughters.
    But what about daughter who either dont marry or make excuses throughout her father life of having not liked matrimonial prospects and would like better match for her throughout fathers life and thn only keeping property in mind.
    It would be euibilirum reached if there shall b law tht if women forcefully (not by wishes of his brother) takeS right in her parental property and than again seek right in her husbands property. She is noway having or has had any love affection relationship with either her own sibling or her in laws sibling.
    She should be barred from claiming right in her husbands property.



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