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married womens property actA businessman died all of sudden; next day all the creditors came and snatched away everything from his widow and children; because he had huge debts. This is not a scene from a film but it’s a reality. We all know that life insurance is a mechanism to provide protection to a family on the untimely demise of an income provider. But merely buying a life insurance policy will not necessarily take care of one’s dependants in case of his death.


Buying a

life insurance

cover alone will not necessarily ensure that your loved ones get the insurance amount in the event of your death. If you are the owner of a business with a high component of loans and have accumulated debts, your creditors will have the first claim on your policy proceeds. In proprietorship and partnership concerns in case of a loss, the owner/s of the firms have unlimited liability.


This means in case of winding up of the business or in case of a loss, the creditors (those who have provided loans in the form of money or material) have the right to sell all the assets of the owners and their families like land & buildings, jewels, cars, artistic collections, savings in life insurance, mutual funds, bank deposits, etc to recover their money.


One needs to put into place certain safeguards to ensure that the sum assured is indeed passed on to the dependents. Getting the insurance policy issued under the MWPA is perhaps the simplest and the least expensive way of protecting your family’s financial interests.


Married Women’s Property Act 1874 (MWP Act) was created to protect the properties owned by women from relatives, creditors and even from their own husbands.


Section 6 of the MWP Act covers Life Insurance plans; the creditors cannot access the life insurance policy covered under MWP Act. Thus, the policy creates an immediate asset for the dependent family members, which they can enjoy for sure.


Let’s analyze the benefits to family members when a life insurance policy is under the MWP Act.

Who can take a policy under MWP Act?

Any married man can take a life insurance policy under MWP Act. This includes divorced and widowers as well. The policy can be taken only on one’s own name, i.e., the life assured has to be the proposer himself. Any type of plan can be endorsed to be covered under MWP Act.


The beneficiaries can be:


1. The wife alone

2. The child/ children alone (both natural and adopted)

3. Wife and Children together or any of them


The policy can also be a named policy meaning the name of the wife and the child/children are mentioned in the plan or as a class by not mentioning the names. However, Mohammedan proposers can only take up named policies. The benefits of the policy proceeds can be mentioned as specific percentages to each beneficiary or as equal amounts.


How will the beneficiaries get the benefits?

Each policy will be considered as a separate trust. At the time of the proposal, the proposer is expected to mention the trustees too. The trustees can be the wife and/or one or more of his adult children, or a third person.


The policies are considered as an automatic trust and there is no need to create a Trust under the Trust Act. The policy holder has the option to change the trustees at any point in time.

However, the beneficiaries of the plan once declared cannot be changed at any time by the proposer. The main advantage for the beneficiaries is that the plan cannot be surrendered or be assigned for taking a loan by the proposer.


Also, in case of a death claim, the policy proceeds are received by the trust and cannot be claimed by the debtors nor will it form part of the estate of the proposer. Hence, the welfare of the wife/child/children is protected with utmost care by creating an immediate asset for the dependent family members.


Such a policy is a must for any individual with high financial liabilities, especially business owners and entrepreneurs. Get a policy under MWPA and stay blessed!!


About the Author:

Vandana Dubey is a Certified Financial Planner and a corporate trainer by profession. She wants to create financial awareness. She can be reached at





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  • Manikaran Singal

    Hi vandana. I have one query on this subject. Is it possible to buy policy under MWPA only for the benefit of children and wife being alive at the point of taking policy. Wife would not be appointed as trustee even in this case. This is under apprehension that wife will remarry in case something happens to husband, and husband don’t have any will written at this moment.

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