OVERVIEW OF Ancestral Property
Succession and ancestral property rights have created a lot of confusion. To answer the question of what is ancestral property, the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act are emphasized. A property which has been passed through 4 generations of male lineage is called Ancestral property. Property inherited from great-grandfather till the 4th generation or till the present generation of great-grandson/daughter.
The right to get the property is from the birth of the person. The share of each generation is first determined and the successive generations, in turn, subdivide what has been inherited by their respective predecessor. It is compulsory that the property is inherited from the male lineage (father, grandfather), as the property inherited from the uncle, brother, mother, the grandmother is not ancestral property. Also, the property flowing through four generations shouldn’t be gifted, sold, partitioned or settled. Until 2005, ancestral property rights varied for sons and daughters.
Some other points to be noticed about ancestral property
The rights in ancestral property are determined per stripes and not per capita. The share of each generation is first determined and the successive generations, in turn, subdivide what has been inherited by their respective predecessor.
The property shouldn’t be divided by the users in the joint Hindu family laws as once a division of the property takes place, the share or portion which each Coparcener gets after the division becomes his or her self-acquired property.
In 2005, an amendment was made by the supreme court of India that A daughter can only hold a right to the ancestral property if the father has died.
In Hindu law, the property has been classified under the following heads:
Coparcenary property, which includes ancestral property and joint family property which is not ancestral.
Till 2005, from the ancestral property meaning, a daughter was not considered as a coparcener in her father’s Hindu Undivided Family after her marriage. After the judgment of the Supreme Court in 2005, A married daughter’s right in ancestral property is not different from an unmarried daughter. The Supreme Court’s judgment on the ancestral property has time and again clarified on this concept.
In Mulla’s principles of Hindu Law it is given that,” If A inherits property, whether movable or immovable, from his father or father’s father, or father’s grandfather, it is ancestral property as regards his male issue. If A has no son, son’s son, or son’s grandson in existence at the time when he inherits the property, he holds the property as the absolute owner thereof, and he can deal with it as he pleases ………. A person inheriting property from his three immediate paternal ancestors holds it, and must hold it, in coparcenary with his sons, sons’ sons and sons’ sons’ sons’ but as regards other relations he holds it and is entitled to hold it, as his absolute property.”