Rights of a Daughter to Ancestral Property

Last Updated at: Oct 10, 2020
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Will Registration in India, Procedure for Will Registration in India

According to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, daughters were not entitled to succession or have any right to the property of their ancestors. Let us see the Supreme court judgments on ancestral property. This fact was amended in 2005, through a landmark Supreme Court judgement on September 9, 2005. This is to give equal rights to daughters in terms of their father’s assets and properties. You must understand the ancestral property rights to married daughters as well.

What is ancestral property? 

Ancestral property is a property acquired by your great grandfather. It has been passed down from generation to generation up to the present generation without being divided or partitioned by your family.

Can a daughter claim on ancestral property?

Yes, she can.

However, the Supreme Court, after the judgment, added a small clause. The clause is to grant such a right only when the ancestor has died after September 9, 2005. (the date of the passing of the judgment). The Supreme court order on daughters right on father’s property. Therefore, the judgment has no retrospective effect.

Implications of the Amendment

A daughter can now inherit shares due to her in the ancestral properties if her father dies after the above-mentioned day in 2005. In case the death of the father has taken place before September 9, 2005, then the amendment added to the Act will not be valid. And the daughters will not have a claim to the ancestral property.
Hence, a daughter can become a co-parcener in the ancestral property of the father. But only from the date of commencement of the amendments to the Act.

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Until this clause came into existence, the only condition for inheritance was that the daughters could not ask for a share if the property was alienated or was partitioned before December 20, 2004, when the Bill for the amendment was passed.

Impact of the Amendment

Now that daughters have the right to inherit. They will have equal claim to ancestral properties or the assets that their parents/father held, provided the clause of the 2005 amendment is satisfied.
This way, if the father decides to leave their assets equally among his children. The daughters too will get an equal share in the property being distributed.

A lawyer with 14 years' experience, Vikram has worked with several well-known corporate law firms before joining Vakilsearch.