The partition of our ancestral property took place between my father and his brothers in the year 1980 with the mutual understanding of the brothers. I want to know if the property in the hands of my father after partition is considered as ancestral or self-acquired. One and a half kanal land is registered in my brother’s and my name, but the money was paid by my father, who is no more. Also, does my mother have a share in this piece of land?
It is helpful to first understand the concept of ancestral property under the Hindu laws.
Generally, it connotes that whenever an ancestor inherits any property from any of his paternal ancestors up to three generations above him, then his legal heirs up to three generations below him would get an equal right as coparceners in that property. Such a property should not have been divided by the members of the joint Hindu family.
When a division or a partition happens in a joint Hindu family, it becomes “self-acquired" property in the hands of a family member who has received it.
In your case, if the ancestral property had been partitioned between your father and his brothers, his share in such property granted to him at partition would be regarded as his self-acquired property.
If the said property is now registered in the names of your brother and you, due to a gift (we assume so) from your father to you and your brother during his lifetime, it would be regarded as being owned by your brother and you, in accordance with the registered title documents.
Assuming that your late father transferred his entire ownership in the property to your brother and you (leaving no part of the land in his name at the time of his death), then your mother does not have any share in the land.
Your mother, even though a class 1 heir to your father’s estate, would not have a right to the property, which had previously been fully passed on to your brother and you. We would also recommend that you prepare a suitable Will for your interest in the property and other assets owned by you.
Rishabh Shroff is partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Queries and views at email@example.com