What is Ancestral Property?

Sujan Afi S


Ancestral property is not only a piece of property that we inherit, it is also an emotion. Lack of knowledge about property often leads to confusion and disputes. The disputes regarding the ancestral property are quite significant and a lot of cases regarding ancestral property is found to be pending in various Indian courts. To avoid such problems, you need to know about various facts regarding ancestral property if you are going to own any ancestral property or if you have an ancestral property. Today we are going to discuss some facts about the ancestral property. 

What is an Ancestral Property?

The term ‘Ancestral Property’ is quite familiar in the real estate sector. Ancestral property generally refers to an undivided family property that is possessed by four generations of male lineages, such as father, grandfather, great grandfather and great-great-grandfather. This highlights that the ancestor property is self-acquired and undivided. Ancestral property is immovable. Although previously the male lineage only could claim the rights over the ancestral property according to Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 the daughters also have the same rights over ancestral property. To recognise the property as an ancestor property the property should fulfil two characteristics –

  1. The property should be four generations old, and 
  2. The property should not be divided or partitioned by the previous three generations.

Facts about an ancestral property 

  1. The ancestral property should remain as undivided up to four generations of male lineage.
  2. The right of enjoying the property automatic accrues by birth itself. 
  3. In some special cases, it is observed that ancestral property could also include self-acquired property.
  4. If the property is divided through a partition deed, then it loses its ancestral character.
  5. At present daughters also have rights over ancestral property. According to the Hindu Succession Amendment Act, 2005, daughters also have the same rights over the ancestral property as sons whether the daughter is married or unmarried.
  6. Ancestral property is only inherited from great-great-grandfather and the properties which are inherited from mother, great-great-grandmother, uncle or even from brother are not considered as ancestral property.
  7. The properties that are inherited through will and gifts do not fall under the ancestral property.
  8. If a self-acquired property is enjoyed by common and it fulfils the necessary characteristics of the ancestral property then it can be considered as ancestral property.
  9. If the property is simply transferred or gifted by the father to the son then it will not be considered as ancestral property because in this case, it does not fulfil the four generations term and undivided ancestral property characteristics.
  10. A father can disinherit his son from his self-acquired property but can’t be disinherited from ancestral property. The son gets rights over ancestral property by his birth.
  11. Every generation inherits its share of ancestral property from its predecessors/ancestors. The share of ancestral property, thus, decreases eventually as the number of generations keeps on increasing.   
  12. The laws regarding the division of ancestral property varies with religion too. For example, the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 governs the division of ancestral property among Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists; Indian Succession Act, 1925 governs the division of ancestral properties among Christians; and Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, applies in the case of Muslims.
  13. According to laws, the head of the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) has the right to control the property, while for selling an ancestral property it is necessary to receive the consent of everyone who has the rights on the property since four generations have a claim on it.
  14. The ancestral property should not be divided among the stakeholders in any situation and if it is divided then it will be considered as acquired property instead of ancestral property.

There are various types of ancestral properties, such as –

  • Paternal Ancestors Property,
  • Maternal Ancestors Property,
  • Property Acquired by Females, and
  • Property Acquired Through Will/gift from Paternal Ancestors etc.

Also read: https://www.therealtalks.in/blog-details/redeveloping-the-old-house-and-reliving-the-old-days.html 


Although the ownership or claim on an ancestral property depends on the birth of the person lack of knowledge on various facts about the ancestral property, in many cases, forces the people to go to the courts for justice. In the real estate sector disputes over ancestral property are quite common. Thus, you can always consult with an expert if you face any problem regarding the same. Roodland India can help you in this regard. I assure you that you will be guided by the best experts who can solve your problems efficiently. So, please mail us at info@roodland.com if you have any further queries. Also, visit our Real Talks platform to read the latest and informative blogs and stay connected with the latest trends of the real estate market! 


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