Self-Acquired and Ancestral Property
August 30, 2011 182 Comments
After 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.