Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Grandchildren are equally entitled to an undivided share in the ancestral property

The grandsons of the daughter are equally entitled to an undivided share in the ancestral property along with the other legal heirs of great grandfather

My great grandfather had a house in a prime locality with 2 acres of surrounding land. He had 2 sons and 1 daughter. All of them aren’t alive anymore. The daughter had 2 sons (and two sons have two children each) and they have both given in writing that they don’t want any share in the ancestral property. However, can the children, say, at a later date stake claim to the property even though their fathers have given the same in writing? What is an ideal way to ensure there aren’t any legal disputes in future?

—Prateek Jain

The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 (the “Act") is an act to regulate the law relating to intestate succession among Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists. A person who dies without making a Will is said to have died intestate. 

In your case, we consider that your great grandfather has not left behind a Will or testament in respect of his property. Therefore, succession of such ancestral property shall be governed under the Act.

After the amendment to the Act of September 09, 2005, all the daughters have equal right in the parental property in the same manner as that of a son. Likewise, in your case after the death of the daughter (daughter of your great grandfather) her undivided share in ancestral property shall devolve upon her two sons equally.

In your case, the two children of the daughter (sons of the daughter) have relinquished their rights in ancestral property only to the extent of their rights over ancestral property, and their children i.e. grandsons of the daughter from their birth are entitled to succeed to the ancestral property independently and equally. 

Therefore, in the instant case, the grandsons of the daughter are equally entitled to an undivided share in the ancestral property along with the other legal heirs of your great grandfather and to avoid future disputes, it is advisable that the grandsons of daughter execute a formal deed of release/ relinquishment in favour of other legal heirs with or without consideration thereby relinquishing their right, title and interest over the ancestral property. 

Aradhana Bhansali is partner, Rajani Associates. Queries at mintmoney@livemint.com

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