An Ancestral property is owned by different generations in the same family. When the family members decide to distribute the property among themselves, it becomes self-acquired property soon as the distribution is complete.

Important attributes of Ancestral property

Division of property occurs when a family decides to divide itself or partition because of some reason. A dispute may arise during this division if the property belongs to the family's ancestors. In such a case, property division can become difficult and complex. Read on to understand Ancestral property, its division and Self-acquired property.

What is Ancestral property?

The term “Ancestral property” represents the property owned by the family through different generations. The Hindu Succession Act 1956 does not define the term “ancestral property”. The term is defined in the Hindu Succession Amendment Act passed by the Supreme court.

This law passed by the Supreme court on September 9, 2005 (Amendment Act) incorporates that both daughters and sons have claims to the Ancestral property. The property should be under the name of the parents of claimants or the parents of their parents for it to be considered ancestral property. Division of such a property becomes difficult as disputes can arise.

Consider the example of a family which has owned 2000 square feet of land for the past 100 years. As the property has been in the name of their past generations, it can be considered an ancestral property. 

When does an ancestral property become self-acquired?

An ancestral property turns into a self-acquired property when it is divided among the family members who have raised a claim to it. As soon as the property division is documented, the property becomes self-acquired.

As per the Hindu Succession Amendment Act of 2005, both sons and daughters can claim their share of ancestral property. The share of each member on the division of the ancestral property depends upon the number of members in the family. The share is subdivided as per the successive generation of the family.

For example, if “A” and “B” are the sons of “C” who have the ownership of an ancestral property, then once the division of family occurs, the property will first be divided amongst ‘A’ and ‘B’. Then the respective property share of ‘A’ and ‘B’ will be further subdivided based on the number of their sons and daughters.

Important attributes of Ancestral property

There are certain attributes which become applicable when a property is termed “Ancestral property”:

  1. A property which is obtained through a gift cannot be considered an ancestral property. 
  2. A property acquired by executing the statements mentioned in a will cannot be considered an ancestral property.
  3. Parents cannot exclude their children from their share in ancestral property. The parents can exclude them from the self-acquired property but not ancestral property.
  4. Unlike other property divisions, the right to ancestral property becomes legitimate once the individual is born in the family.

Final Words

Successive generations of a family own ancestral property. When the family decides to partition or divide the property, it becomes a self-acquired property for each family member to receive a share. As per the law, daughters and sons have a right to ancestral property. 

Disclaimer: This article is intended for general information purposes only and should not be construed as investment or legal advice. You should separately obtain independent advice when making decisions in these areas.