Things to Know Before Selling Ancestral Property in India


ancestral property, nrihelpinfo

There are many issues and disputes when someone wants to sell his ancestral property in India. Many issues come up regarding many claimants claiming the property rights, which will put the property buyer in trouble. Thus, before selling the inherited property, one should know the difference between self-acquired property and inherit property as defined under the Hindu Law.

How does an ancestral property differ from a self-acquired property?

Under Hindu Law, ancestral property is also named as coparcenary property. After the amendment in the Hindu Succession Act, 2005, even the girls born in a joint Hindu family are permitted to take an equal share in the property, same as sons. Before this amendment, only male members of the joint Hindu family were known as coparceners.

However, the self-acquired property is any property which is purchased by a person from his own money or any property he received as a share of the division of any ancestral property. The self-acquired property also covers a property which is obtained through any testamentary document like a Will document or a legal heir.

Can an individual sell the ancestral property as Karta?

According to Hindu law, if an individual as a Karta of a HUF (Hindu Undivided Family), he has all sorts of powers to manage the family and its assets. But, Karta does not have a totally independent, individual ownership of the property and each coparcener has its own title, right, and share in the ancestral property.

According to some provisions, an individual can sell the ancestral property being Karta of the HUF. Firstly, during the period of distress (Distress period is something that affects the whole family, for instance, a case of legal necessity), secondly for the sake or benefit of the family (i.e. maintenance of the home and may also include selling the property for family benefit and necessity) and thirdly for the holy purposes which include essential acts of duty, such as the obsequies of the ancestors and various other kinds of religious works.

Can an individual sell the ancestral property as a coparcener?

A coparcener is free to sell his share in the inherited property. For the sake of selling, he requires to take his share out from the ancestral property. For this, a person can file a legal suit for the partition. According to the settled law, if some buyer has bought the share of a coparcener in the ancestral property, he will not be entitled to compel him to file a lawsuit for partition. It is the coparcener’s own choice to decide as to when he wants to separate his share in the jointly held property

Important facts regarding ancestral properties

  • As per Hindu Law, an individual automatically acquires the right to his or her share in an ancestral property at the time of his birth.
  • Coparceners, including daughters, can seek partition and sale of the ancestral property and secure their share.
  • The land and properties of the paternal ancestors should be sold exclusively with the permission of the successors. Without consent, these properties cannot be sold. Although, it can be regained by filing a lawsuit for the partition in a civil court.
  • Similarly, if their part of the share is denied, one can send a legal notice demanding his property rights.
  • If the property and land are not distributed by the members of a joint Hindu family, then it is acknowledged as the inherited property.
  • Once the property and land which is inherited are partitioned, the share which is obtained by each coparcener will become his/her self-acquired property.
  • Properties which are received from the maternal side of the family are not treated as ancestral property.
  • As per Hindu law, the head of HUF (Hindu Undivided Family) vests all the power with him to manage the family assets. However, when it comes to the ownership and rights over an ancestral property, each and every coparcener is allowed to getting his or her share.

Hence, these are some of the essential things one should keep in mind before selling a property.

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Things to Know Before Selling Ancestral Property in India

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