While Will is not a strange subject anymore, there still are people who haven’t made their Wills and a majority of them are women. The reason may range from the thought that Will is only for the rich to superstition, ignorance as well as lack of awareness about the repercussions of not creating one.
Though the best part about having a Will is that you get to choose who will benefit from your assets after your demise, it plays all the more important role in making sure that your wealth doesn’t land in undeserving hands.
It is very important to understand how your assets will flow in the absence of a Will. In case of a Hindu female, her property will be equally divided between her husband and her children. It is interesting to note that in the absence of the husband and children, her property will be inherited by the heirs of her husband, which will be her mother-in-law in this case. If the mother-in-law is also no more, then the assets will go to her father-in-law and her husband’s siblings. Only when the in-laws are not present, will her assets go to her own parents.
Let us examine a situation where a woman is married but doesn’t stay with her husband and has applied for divorce. If she passes away during the divorce process, her wealth will go to her husband because she was still married to that man in the eyes of law.
In case of death of a widow who wasn’t treated well by her in-laws after her husband’s demise and who went on to stay with her parents and started earning for herself, her assets, even if self-earned, will pass on to the heirs of the husband, that is, her in-laws as per the Hindu Succession Act. Nothing in this case would go to her parents who supported her during the times of her need.
No matter how unfair or unreasonable it may sound, the above scenarios depict what the Hindu Succession laws say. Thus, whether husband or no husband, children or no children, a Hindu woman must make her Will to ensure that her wealth is inherited only by those people who deserve it.