Ancestral property can be defined in general parlance as the property, which has been passed on from one generation to another. There are two major conditions that a property has to fulfill in order to be an ancestral property these are as follows –
- The property has to be four generations old at the least;
- The same shouldn’t have been partitioned or divided into the past three generations.
Inheritance situations differ in matters of self-acquired property and ancestral property. Self-acquired property is the property that individual purchases out of one’s own income. In the case of self-acquired property, the owner can take away your share in the same. For instance, if your father has purchased a property out of his own money, he can exclude you from its inheritance. However, in the case of ancestral property, ones share cannot be taken away no matter what the situation.
The claim on an ancestral property comes through the act of birth. However, this claim into the ancestral property and the share that is given to each individual against his claim is determined by the successive generation. They decide the respective shares.
If the property is inherited from your mother, uncle, brother or grandmother, it is not ancestral property.
The partition of an ancestral property can be made by a Partition Notice or a Declaration to Separate, Partition Agreement. The partition can also be carried out through arbitration or through suits. An example of partition being, if the property is to be divided amongst five people, they will receive equal shares in the property i.e. 1/5th share each. With the development of the Hindu Succession Act in 2005, daughters too can have a share in the property. If denied a share in the property, a legal notice should be sent by the aggrieved to the erring party. Filing a suit for partition and contesting the same in court can also help in claiming the share. In case the property has been sold off without your consent, it is suggested that the buyer should also be added to a party and a suit should be filed to claim ones share.