Things to Remember Before Selling Ancestral Property in India

Last Updated at: Jan 03, 2020
Things to remember before selling ancestral property
Things to remember before selling ancestral property

There are many disputes and issues when someone wants to sell their ancestral property. Many issues come up related to many claimants claiming the rights of the property which will put the buyer in trouble. Before selling an ancestral property one should first understand the difference between ancestral property and self-acquired property as defined under the Hindu Law.

If you want to sell your ancestral property, then you might face numerous disputes and issues. These issues might be related to those who are claiming the rights to the property and this will cause trouble to the buyer. So, before selling the ancestral property, you should understand the differences of the same as detailed here.

Difference between Ancestral Property and Self-Acquired Property

Ancestral property under Hindu Law is known as coparcenary property. After the amendment in 2005, even the girls born in a joint Hindu family are allowed to take an equal share in the property same as sons. Prior to this amendment, only male members of the joint Hindu family were known as coparceners.

When it comes to the self-acquired property, it is any property which is purchased by a person from his own money or any property he acquired as a share of the division of any ancestral or coparcenary property. The self-acquired property also includes a property which is obtained through any testamentary document like a will or a legal heir.

Can one sell the ancestral property as Karta?

If one is a Karta of a HUF (Hindu Undivided Family) he has all kind of powers to manage the family and its assets according to Hindu law. But, Karta does not have a completely independent, individual ownership of the property and each coparcener has its own share, title, right, and interest in the ancestral property.

According to some provisions one can sell the ancestral property being Karta of the HUF as mentioned in mitakshara. Firstly, during the period of distress, secondly for the benefit or sake of the family and thirdly for the holy purposes like religious work. Distress period is something that affects the whole family, for instance, a case of legal necessity.

In the same way, ‘For the sake of the family’ can be defined as maintenance of the home and may also include selling the property for family benefit and necessity. Whereas, ‘holy purposes’ include essential acts of duty such as the obsequies of the ancestors and other kinds of religious works.

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Can one sell the ancestral property as a coparcener?

A coparcener is free to sell his interest in the ancestral property. For the sake of selling, he needs to take his share out from the ancestral property. For this, he can file a suit for the partition at any point of time. According to the settled law, if some purchaser has bought the share of a coparcener in the ancestral property he will be not allowed to compel him to file a suit for partition. It is the coparcener’s choice to decide as to when he wants to conclude the status of the jointness and get separated in the property.

Important facts about ancestral properties

  • In an ancestral property, right to share comes by birth.
  • Coparceners, including daughters, can pursue partition and sale of the ancestral property and secure his or her share.
  • The properties of the paternal ancestors should be sold only with the consent of the successors. Without consent, these properties cannot be sold. But, it can be regained by filing a suit for the partition in a court.
  • Similarly, if their part of share is denied one can send a legal notice demanding their rights.
  • If the property is not divided by the members of a joint Hindu family, then it is considered as the ancestral property.
  • Once the property which is inherited is partitioned, the share which is received by each coparcener will become his or her self-acquired property.
  • Properties which are acquired from the maternal side of the family are not considered as ancestral property.
  • According to Hindu law, the head of HUF vests all the power with him to manage the family assets. But when it comes to the rights and ownership over an ancestral property, every coparcener is entitled to getting his or her share.

So, these are some of the important things before selling an ancestral property. If you keep these things in mind before selling an ancestral property you will be happy and so is the buyer!

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