Parental Rights to Child's Property in India

Jan 21, 2024 - by Flat In Kalyan

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Parental Rights to Child's Property in India
When it comes to property matters, parents and children often have different perspectives and expectations. While children may want to assert their independence and ownership over their assets, parents may feel entitled to a share or control over their children’s property. But what does the law say about this? Do parents have any rights over their children’s property in India? If yes, then under what circumstances and to what extent? In this blog post, we will try to answer these questions and provide some insights into the legal framework governing parents’ rights on child’s property in India.

Parents as Legal Guardians
The first and foremost right that parents have over their children’s property is that of legal guardianship. This means that parents are responsible for managing and protecting their children’s property until they attain the age of majority, which is 18 years in India. Parents have the duty to act in the best interest of their children and not misuse or squander their assets. They also have to maintain proper accounts and records of the property and hand them over to the children when they become adults.

However, legal guardianship does not mean absolute authority or ownership. Parents cannot sell, transfer, or alienate their children’s property without their consent or the permission of the court. They also cannot use the property for their own benefit or deprive the children of their rights. Parents are only custodians and trustees of their children’s property and have to respect their wishes and preferences.

Parents as Heirs
Another right that parents may have over their children’s property is that of inheritance. This comes into play when a child dies without leaving a will, which is known as dying intestate. In such a case, the property of the child is distributed according to the personal laws of the child’s religion. For Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists, the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 applies, while for Muslims, the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 applies. For Christians, Parsis, and Jews, the Indian Succession Act, 1925 applies.

According to the Hindu Succession Act, the parents of a deceased child are among the legal heirs who can claim a share in the child’s property. The mother has the first preference, followed by the father. If the mother is not alive, the father becomes the sole heir. However, the parents have to share the property with other heirs, such as the spouse and children of the deceased child, if any. The share of each heir depends on the number and class of heirs.

According to the Muslim Personal Law, the parents of a deceased child are also among the legal heirs who can inherit a portion of the child’s property. The mother gets one-sixth of the property, while the father gets the residue after deducting the shares of other heirs, such as the spouse and children of the deceased child, if any. The share of each heir is fixed according to the Quran and the Sunnah.

According to the Indian Succession Act, the parents of a deceased child are also among the legal heirs who can receive a part of the child’s property. The mother and the father get equal shares of the property. However, they have to divide the property with other heirs, such as the spouse and children of the deceased child, if any. The share of each heir is determined by the rules of distribution given in the Act.

Parents as Co-owners
A third right that parents may have over their children’s property is that of co-ownership. This arises when a child acquires a property jointly with their parents, either by purchase, gift, or inheritance. In such a case, the parents and the child become co-owners of the property and have equal rights and liabilities over it. They can enjoy, use, and dispose of the property as per their wish, subject to the consent of the other co-owners. They can also transfer their share of the property to anyone they want, including their spouse or children.

However, co-ownership does not mean absolute control or possession. Parents cannot interfere with the rights of the child or the other co-owners. They also cannot claim the entire property as their own or exclude the child or the other co-owners from it. They have to respect the rights of the child and the other co-owners and act in good faith and fairness.

Conclusion
Parents’ rights on child’s property in India are not absolute or unconditional. They are subject to the age, consent, and will of the child, as well as the personal laws and customs of the child’s religion. Parents have to balance their rights with their responsibilities and duties towards their children and their property. They also have to consider the rights and interests of the other legal heirs and co-owners of the property. Parents should always seek legal advice and guidance before taking any action or decision regarding their children’s property.


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