Table of Content:
- Ancestral Property: Meaning
- Ancestral Property: Characteristics
- Ancestral Property #1: Property That’s Inherited From Paternal Ancestor
- Ancestral Property #2: Property That’s Inherited From Maternal Grandfather
- Ancestral Property #3: Property That’s Inherited From Females Or Collaterals
- Ancestral Property #4: Property Share That’s Allotted On Partition
- Ancestral Property #5: Property That’s Obtained As a Gift Or Will From Paternal Ancestor
- Ancestral Property: Women & Daughter’s Rights And Amendments Under The Law
- What To Do If You Need To Sell Your Ancestral Property Without Documents?
Ancestral property, as the name suggests, is a property that belongs to ancestors. It is passed down in a family through the generations. While it is obvious to say that the property has a certain monetary value, it also has a sentimental value to it. Often passing property from ancestors becomes a challenge in the case of bigger families.
Not having enough knowledge about ancestral property rights can lead to legal hassles or family disputes a lot of times. This blog will help you understand more about them in detail!
Ancestral Property: Meaning
The meaning of ancestral property is that it is an undivided property and generations of the family have their share in it. In case the property is inherited by some other relations, it is not considered a property from ancestors. A property that is inherited from the maternal side is not considered a property from ancestors either.
As per a rule passed by the Supreme Court in 2016, the law states that any distributed or previously partitioned property would not be considered property from ancestors.
Also Read: Glossary & Terms To Understand About The Law of Succession
Ancestral Property: Characteristics
Here are a few characteristics that make ancestral property different from the rest:
It is held by a Hindu joint family’s four generations.
It should not be a divided property.
If four generations are alive, they all have a joint interest in and ownership of it.
Individuals have a right to the property of their ancestors from birth not by their predecessor’s death.
If the property is divided then every person gets an equal share in it.
Types of Ancestral Property
There are five types of ancestral property as per the Law of Succession And Inheritance.
1. Property That’s Inherited From Paternal Ancestor
A property that a Hindu male inherits from his fathers, his father’s father, or his father’s grandfather is defined as ancestral property. The great-grandchildren, grandchildren, and the children of the person inherit the property by birth. Whether it is a son or a daughter of the Hindu male, both of them can claim their right to inherit it.
If the property is inherited from another relative, it would not be considered a property from ancestors. Let us say a man has property from his ancestors but does not have a son or daughter. The man can deal with the property the way he wants as he is the absolute owner of the property.
2. Property That’s Inherited From Maternal Grandfather
The property that is inherited by a daughter’s son is not considered ancestral property. As the property is inherited from the maternal grandfather, it is a separate property but not an ancestral one.
3. Property That’s Inherited From Females Or Collaterals
The definition of ancestral property is the property that an individual inherits from his/her father, their father’s father, or their father’s grandfather. The property that’s inherited from a person’s mother or his collateral like an uncle or brother is a separate property.
4. Property Share That’s Allotted On Partition
The property share that is obtained by any coparcener on a partition of ancestral property is a property from ancestors. As they have a right to claim it by birth, whether they are born at the time of partition or not. Such a share is a separate property. If the coparcener passes away without any issues, it will be passed to his heirs.
5. Property That’s Obtained As a Gift Or Will From Paternal Ancestor
When Hindu male gifts his son a self-acquired or separate property is seen based on whether the donor intended that the donee should take it for himself or the gift would be for the branch of the family. Hence, such properties are not considered ancestral property always. Although, it ranks as property from ancestors in the hands of the donee. Once it is passed down the family is when ancestral property rights for grandchildren will apply.
Also Read: An Ultimate Guide To Power Of Attorney Act
Ancestral Property: Women & Daughter’s Rights And Amendments Under The Law
The Indian Ancestral Property Law comes under the Law of Succession And Inheritance. Initially, the property rights of women were unknown, and men would be the owner of the property from their ancestors. To bring a little clarity on women’s rights on the property, the Hindu Womens’ Right to Property Act (XVIII of ) 1937 was introduced.
As per this law:
A widow was entitled only to a limited estate in the deceased’s property and had a right to claim partition.
A daughter did not have any inheritance rights.
Post this, Hindu Womens’ Rights to Property (Extension to Agricultural Lands) Act (Madras Act 26 of 1947) was enacted. Both of these enactments were changed later when the Hindu Succession Act of 1956 was introduced.
The Hindu Succession Act went under amendment in 2005. Before 2005, only sons and unmarried daughters had coparcenary rights to the property of their deceased father. Married women had rights in Hindu Undivided Family. Post 2005 amendments, unmarried and married daughters have the same rights on their father’s property as their brothers. As a part of this amendment, the daughter will only have the property rights if both the father and daughter were alive on September 9, 2005.
In 2018, the Supreme Court announced that a daughter can inherit the property of the deceased father irrespective of him being alive on this date or not. This means that a daughter's rights in ancestral property would be considered too.
In 2022, the Supreme Court also ruled that the daughters can claim a right to their parents’ self-acquired property and any other property their parents own. This rule would also apply to daughters who lost their parents before the Hindu Succession Act of 1956 was codified.
Check Out This Interesting Read: 5 Things To Know About Gift Deed
What To Do If You Need To Sell Your Ancestral Property Without Documents?
In case you want to sell your ancestral property without documents you will need:
The original chain of documents to discuss the clear title to the property
Visit sub registrar's office to get the property’s title deed
Get a certified copy of documents from the sub-registrar’s office.
We hope this blog helps you understand Indian ancestral property law, Educate everyone in your family about the same to avoid any legal issues.