Daughters’ Rights to Inheritance under the Hindu Succession Act: A Progressive Framework

October 17, 2023


The Hindu Succession Act of 1956, a seminal legislation governing inheritance among Hindus, witnessed a landmark amendment in 2005. This amendment marked a pivotal shift in the legal landscape, bestowing daughters with equal rights to ancestral property. This article delves into the specifics of daughters’ inheritance rights under the Hindu Succession Act, examining the legal nuances and implications of this progressive reform.

Coparcenary Rights for Daughters

Prior to the 2005 amendment, daughters were excluded from coparcenary rights, limiting their claims to ancestral property. The amendment rectified this disparity, affirming that daughters possess coparcenary rights on par with sons. This fundamental change means that daughters, by birth, now have a share in the ancestral property.

Scope of Inheritance

Daughters’ rights extend beyond self-acquired property, encompassing ancestral property irrespective of the status of their father or grandfather. Ancestral property, encompassing both movable and immovable assets, is subject to equal distribution among male and female heirs.

Equal Share Principle

The cornerstone of this legal reform is the principle of equal distribution. Daughters, akin to sons, inherit an equal share of the ancestral property. This departure from the traditional male-centric approach promotes fairness and gender equality in matters of succession.

Marital Status and Inheritance

Crucially, the daughter’s right to inheritance is not contingent upon her marital status. Even if married, she retains an unequivocal right to claim her share in ancestral property. This provision ensures that daughters are not excluded from inheritance based on marital considerations.

Intestate Succession

In cases where an individual dies without leaving a will (intestate), the Hindu Succession Act governs the distribution of property. Daughters, as legal heirs, partake in the inheritance along with other family members. The Act ensures a systematic and equitable distribution of assets among the heirs.

Testamentary Freedom and Wills

While the legal provisions secure daughters’ inheritance rights, individuals are encouraged to exercise testamentary freedom. Crafting a clear and comprehensive will enables one to specify the desired distribution of property, thereby minimizing the potential for disputes among heirs.


In conclusion, the 2005 amendment to the Hindu Succession Act represents a paradigm shift in favor of gender equality. Daughters, endowed with coparcenary rights, now stand on equal footing with sons in matters of inheritance. This legal evolution not only empowers daughters but also aligns with the broader societal goals of promoting fairness and inclusivity in familial succession. As India strides towards a more egalitarian legal framework, the recognition of daughters’ rights to inheritance stands as a testament to the evolving nature of legal norms.

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