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Can parents choose to deprive their children of property inheritance in Nepal?

In Nepal, the land is considered an asset of huge importance. Probably, this is a result of the slow growth of the industry, only a few youth working in Nepal, the lack of agriculture products and unstable politics. The general people consider land as one of the most secure places to invest their hard-earned money compared to other businesses. It is not their fault as the Nepali society itself considers land property as a matter of prestige and security.

From a legal perspective, it has resulted in several disputes within a family. One of them if about if the parents can choose to deprive their children of inheriting their property or the children can stake their claim over the parents’ real estate.

Let’s discuss legal provisions on it in detail.

Legal provisions concerning property

The majority of matters related to property rights are governed by the Civil Code 2017, which has designated a separate chapter for this. The code in section 251 defines property as any cash or good that can be used or transacted in other’s names. Similarly, section 252 of the code further classifies property into two categories; moveable property and immovable property. 

Further, the code’s section 255 classifies the property according to the status of ownership. According to this provision, there are seven types of property.

  1. Private property
  2. Property in common
  3. Joint property
  4. Community property
  5. Public property
  6. Government property
  7. Trust property
Photo: Snappy Goat

Private property is described as any property owned by any person through his/her knowledge, skills or efforts, acquired through donation or by the way of lottery or gifts, purchase with the remuneration, acquired by the way of intellectual property or royalty, earned by a woman prior to marriage or acquired from the parental side at the time of marriage. The person owning private property shall be entitled to exclusively deal with his/her private property as prescribed by section 256 and sub-sections of the same.

Legal provisions regarding the partitions of property 

The code in a separate chapter on ‘the partition of property’ states that in case of any property in common or undivided property, the husband, wife, father, mother, son and daughter shall be regarded as coparcener/successor of the property as per the section 205 of the code. In addition to that, section 206 of the code states that each coparcener/successor shall have equal rights over the property, and if any coparcener/successor is pregnant while dividing property, the baby to be born is also entitled to equal rights over the property. Section 208 of the code states that the child whose father is not traced out shall obtain his/her share of the property from the mother’s property.

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From the aforementioned provisions, we can conclude that a person has an exclusive right to claim the private property of his/her parents as per the Nepali laws. S/he is privileged to transfer such property into anybody’s name or can donate to any social organisation. The children can always claim their rights on the parental property unless the parental property falls under the definition of private property as mentioned in section 256 of the code.

It also means the parents cannot choose to deprive their children of property inheritance whenever the children demand it.

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Regmi is an advocate associated with Associates Hub Law Firm.

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