Married Women's Property Act (MWPA) in India

Last updated:
Married Women's Property Act

The standard of living can be maintained if a person’s life is secured in unexpected circumstances. Life insurance plays a vital role as it acts as a helping hand in such unforeseen situations. In a layman’s terms, life insurance gives the dependent a financial backup and advantage upon the premature death of the insured individual.

Married Women’s Property Act

MWP was a welfare act authorised in 1874. As the name suggests, it is formulated for married women to enjoy the full ownership of wages, earnings, property, investments, and savings.

Under this act, Section 6 throws light upon how important this act states that “a policy of insurance effected by any married man on his own life and expressed on the face of it to be for the benefit of his wife, or of his wife and children, or any of them, shall ensure and be deemed to be a trust for the benefit of his wife, or of his wife and children, or any of them according to the interests so expressed, and shall not, so long as any object of the trust remains, be subject to the control of the husband, or to his creditors, or form part of his estate.”

In simple words, it is a policy undertaken by a married man under his name which not only covers him, but also extends to his wife and the kids of the man. This extension of the policy makes sure that the family will be well taken care of.

Characteristics of the policy under this Act

  • After the death of the spouse, it is very difficult for the widowed women to live their lives and maintain the standard of living; so as to avoid this MWP Act was established.
  • The term policy under the domain of MWP Act will be considered as a trust.
  • At the hour of the proposition, the proposer is supposed to specify the legal trustees/ nominees/ beneficiaries as well. 
  • Once the trustees are declared they cannot be modified at any point in time. So after the demise of the husband, only the beneficiaries can exercise control over the benefit amount which will seal and protect their future in the right way.

How does the Insurance policy under this act help the married women

  • When the policy is purchased under the MWP Act, it essentially implies that any insurance policy taken by the spouse and supported under the MWPA for his wife or children or any of them, will continuously be their property
  • His parents also can't claim any rights over the policy. 
  • Truth be told, the husband himself has no rights over the survival benefits of the policy.

Let’s Know more about the Insurer

Any wedded man residing in India (with the exception of Jammu and Kashmir) can profit under this Act.

  • 'Married man' here likewise includes a widower and a divorced man who can name his kids, assuming he wishes, as beneficiaries in a policy.
  • Accordingly, regardless of whether the husband and wife separate after the policy is taken, the beneficiaries (spouse and additionally youngsters) will keep on continuing as before

Who can be the beneficiaries?

The beneficiaries once mentioned in the policy remain unaltered all through the term. The beneficiaries can be -

  • The wife alone
  • The child/ children alone (both natural and adopted)
  • Wife and Children together or any of them

Who can opt for the MWP Act

  • Business people and salaried people with credits or liabilities.
  • This is especially applicable in the case of a joint family.
  • Individuals who need to safeguard their wife/child(ren) from creditors/family members who could have false aims.