Self-Acquired and Ancestral Property

wealthymatters.comAfter a person dies, there are often pretty big rifts in the family.Hidden stresses come out in the open and contesting claims to the deceased person’s property is fairly common.The problems are compounded by the fact that the law defines self acquired and ancestral property differently from common  parlance.

According to the law for Hindus,self acquired property is any property purchased by an individual from his resources or any property he acquired as a part of the division of any Ancestral/Coparcenary property or acquired as a legal heir or by any Testamentary document such as ‘Will’ etc.

On the other hand,ancestral or Hindu coparcenary property refers to any property acquired by the Hindu great grand father, which then passes  undivided down the next three generations up to the present generation of great grand son/daughter. In short , firstly,this property should be four generation old, secondly it should not have been divided by the users in the joint Hindu family as once a division of the property takes place, the share or portion which each Coparcenar gets after the division becomes his or her self acquired property. The right to a share in ancestral or coparcenary property accrues by birth itself, unlike other forms of inheritance, where inheritance opens only on the death of the owner. The rights in ancestral property are determined per stripes and not per capita. This means that the share of each generation is first determined and the successive generations in turn sub divide what has been inherited by their respective predecessor. Properties inherited from mother, grandmother, uncle and even brother is not ancestral property. Property inherited by will and gift are not ancestral properties.

And to add a further twist,self acquired property can become ancestral property if it is thrown into the pool of ancestral properties and enjoyed in common.

About Keerthika Singaravel

429 Responses to Self-Acquired and Ancestral Property

  1. shobha says:

    Dear Sir/ Madam,
    I request legal opinion on this matter ….
    My father had inherited ancestral property from his aunt [fathers sister] in 2000 through a registered will in favour of my brother[ married and in USA] and himself .
    The aunt had inherited the entire property from her father as a child widow and the property was never shared among her siblings and came directly to my father and brother.
    I was married in 2001 and it was an arranged marriage. Without my knowledge,[as I was abroad for 2yrs with my husband,] my father and brother gave the land away for development . and sold all the apartments given as the share. I came to know of this recently.Can I file a civil suit for my rights as a daughter? It has been close to 14yrs of sale. I am from Andhra Pradesh and a Hindu and have a son.
    Thanking you… Shobha Shiv

    • I’m sorry. You have no legal claims to the property in question.

  2. Shanil says:

    Could you please help me?
    i want to buy a land , which has sellers, (there are 8 members), grand mothers property, and she was passed away, how i know if there are more people are involved or not? if i buy this property and in future some one claim , what is the legal protection? or how can i confirm in future no body will claim for their right?

    Thanks, shanil

    • Shanil ask these people to produce a succession certificate.

      • Shanil says:

        Hi Keerthika, thanks

      • You’re welcome.

  3. Rishad says:

    My father had an ancestral property in Mangalore. The property was in our great great fore fathers name till the early 1990’s. My Father had two brothers, one elder (Bachelor) and one small (married and has a family). When it was realised that the property was in our very old ancetors name my father’s elder brother took the initiative to bring the property in the name of the small brother by finding the family tree and obtaining the power of attorney from all wh were legally entitled to a share. My father was also approached and was promised that for the timebeing give the power of attorney as it was important to bing the property in the name of one among us and my father can claim his share later on when the need arise.

    As my father was working in kuwait he gave his POA thinking that he can claim his share later on and not make any issue right now. The property was made in the small brothers name. in the early 2000 my father suffered a stroke and had to leave his job and come to India. We stay in Mumbai but my father visited Mangalore frequently (three months in Mangalore Three months in Mumbai) and stayed there for sometime. During his stay in Mangalore, looking at his brothers behaviour my father realised that he had been falsely influenced to give POA and hence my father decided to build his own house in our ancestral property. But unfortunately my father passed away in 2004 and his wish to build a house remained unfulfilled. The fact was known to everyone that my father wanted to build the house hence oflate i approached both my uncles (fathers brother) asking for my fathers share to build his dream house. The elder brother totally agreed to it but the small brother is making excuse to avoid giving my fathers share.

    Please advice can i legally claim a right on my fathers share in the property. what is the course of action i should take to claim my fathers share from his small brother.

    • Rishad everything depends on the wordings of this POA.

  4. devika says:

    thank you so much in advance for any help u may provide :) :) :)

  5. devika says:

    my dad had brought some property and registered it in his mom’s name.she s dead uncles are claiming right over that property this that possible to do so?what we have to do now???

    • You have to hunt up evidence that your dad paid for the purchase and that it was not an unconditional gift given to your grandmother.

  6. Rahul khaturia says:

    This property belongs to my grand grand father in 1921 which was transferred to my grand father on lease paper. After my grand father and grand mother death leaving four children
    1.two sons
    2.two daughter
    In 1994 both sons build their separate property equally divided with i.e 1/2 of total share with mutual understanding and in presence of other 2 daughter and start paying separately property tax.
    Now my cousin from elder son filed a case in high Court for share and permanent injunction. Now my question is that is this property is divided or undivided or is she has any right to drag me and my parents in the court because land is divided in 1996 and build separately and having different property tax.
    She is calling this property undivided on affidavit.
    Every reply is appreciated and thanx in advance.
    Please reply fast my hearing date is two days after.

    • The case is all about proving whether division took place or not. Its all about the evidence on paper and the arguments put forth.

  7. Murthy says:

    I learn that my wife’s maternal grandfather had partitioned his agricultural property to only to two of his grandsons, while my wife has been left out alongwith her four brothers and a sister. The partitioning has been carried out nearly 30 years ago. My wife was born in 1972.

    My question is whether my wife can claim her share of the property legally (as it has not been earned by her two brothers referred above) and the property belongs to the earning of their maternal grandfather.

    • No.

  8. A Kumar says:

    Suppose a person Mr. X buys land using money given to him by his father decades ago and then builds his house on it. After his father’s death without will, the person’s brother demands share to the property as land was bought using father’s monetary assistance. The property legally belongs to Mr. X. Can his brother have a right? There is no material evidence of Mr. X receiving money from father. However, in family circles it is known.
    Can you please advise?

    • Did Mr X’s father giver Mr X an unconditional gift of the money?

  9. Anitha says:

    My Self Anitha ,Pls to know clarification on my Queries.
    My Father wrote a settlement deed in the Year 1980 before my marriage to my Brothers and His 2nd Wife.(Properties are available in Tamilnadu & Karnataka)
    In the Year 1984 after my marriage myself & my sister have given a Release Deed stating that , as we are married and settled , we will not interfere in his properties for sale , including My kids will not interfere legally in future..( He has not given us any Property or Money from his properties).
    My Father later expired in the Year 1995 , and his settlement deed wrote in the year 1980 is taken in consideration and his properties are started selling in the Year 2014 – July .
    We have requested for a share personally and applied legally also , now they are stating the we have given release deed in the year 1984 and we are no part of the property for selling .( Already one of the property is sold and rest other things in queue for sale ).
    We are insisting to give us a share , is there any chance that we can fight legally or our query can be considered any chance . Now they are asking us to sign a new release deed for all the property which is already sold and yet to sell .

    • No you can’t win back the properties you signed away your rights to ,unless you can prove cheating, coercion etc. But you can start small litigation on remaining properties and bargain for money in exchange for signing any more release deeds. Get a lawyer for doing this arm-twisting.

  10. parveen says:

    my mom has inherited my grand fathers self earned and ancestral properties as the only daughter. she wants to give all her property to one of her son bcos the others son was not good to her. can she do so? will the other son have any legal rights?

    • Your mom can do as per her wishes and no son can question her decision.

  11. Naveen says:

    Dear Sir / Madam

    I am planning to by a site from a developer. The property is registered in his Name. He has acquired the property from several persons & he is the absolute owner of the entire property. Should we need to get a consent deed from the family members of the developer during the execution of sale deed in my Name.



    • Is the site registered in his personal name or that of his firm/company?

  12. Naveen says:

    Dear Sir / Madam,
    I am planning to buy a property from a Developer. He has purchased it from several persons & has the property registered in his name. Is it required to get a consent deed from the family members of the developer while purchasing the site.



    • Possibly not, if the encumbrance certificate clearly mentions his purchase from many people.

  13. Anoynmous says:

    My father has sold off the property which was handed done to him by my grandfather. His sisters have consented to the sale in writing. Do I have a right to object and get the sale deed cancelled?

    • No. Sorry.

  14. Anu says:

    Need some advice,
    My mom had gifted a self earned property to me & my sister. Now my sister wants to release/ relinquish her share in my favor. Should a simple release deed work or should we do a purchase/ sale deed…for this property.
    Looking forward for your reply

    • Just have her gift it to you.

    • azhaghu says:

      first let me know the said gift was registered are not if it is registered it bocomes like a self acquired property. then your sister must transfer it to your name by settlement or gift or sale. 2. if it was not registered then your sister can make release deed in favour of you.

      • Sorry didn’t get your query.

  15. Bhuvana says:

    Hi Keerthika. My friend’s dad bought a land in his name. He passed away but the papers were not given to my firend’s mom. Due to some family feuds the mom and daughter (my friend) live separately with no contact with her dad’s family. Her mom doesnot possess the documents.
    How can she know the status of the property and the ownership? Who possesses the rights ideally?

    • Just go to the registry office, where the property is located and an RTI application will tell you in whose name the property stands. If there is no will to the contrary, your friend and her mum have equal rights to the property.

  16. karthik says:

    my answerr???

    • Karthik,
      A little courtesy will serve you better. I am not your servant to serve your demands.

  17. Sanjay says:

    My mother gifted her purchased property to my second brother. I came to know of this after she expired. Is there any claim I can make for this property, with me being the eldest son?

    • No.

  18. karthik says:

    my grandfather died without making any will he has 4 sons 5 daughters.the four sons divided the joint family property among themselves and got registered in 1999 without consent of daughters does the daughters can question this registeration now and get share in the property and does they get equal share as son does

  19. karthik says:

    my grandfather died without making any will he has 4 sons 5 daughters.the four sons divided the joint family property among themselves and got registered in 1999 without consent of daughters does the daughters can question this registeration and get share as in the property and does they get equal share as son does

  20. karthik says:

    My grandfather had self acquired property he died without making any will ,he had 4 sons and 5 daughters the property was divided and registered by the four sons in 1999 without the consent of the daughters and now can the daughters challenge the registeration and can take a equal share as sons in that property

    • dhanraj says:

      no. as per hindu law before 2005 the daughters were not entitled to ancestral properties.

      • Sorry Dhanraj, I didn’t get your comment.

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