Property which is inherited up to four generations of male lineage, such as father, grandfather, great grandfather and great-great grandfather is called Ancestral property. As per Hindu Law, Properties can be classified into two- an ancestor property and a self- acquired property. It should have remained from great father till the fourth generation or till the present generation of great-grandson and daughter. The right to get the property is from the birth of the person and whereas inheritance opens only on the death of the owner, any right to a share in such a property accrues by birth itself.

Therefore, it has to primarily meet two conditions for the property to qualify as your ancestor property;

  • Ancestor property should be four generations old.

  • Property should not have been divided or partitioned by the previous three generations.


Self – acquired property is any property that you have purchased or acquired from your own resources. It also includes property obtained or inherited as a legal heir or by any testamentary document such as ‘will’ or through a ‘gift deed’.


There are some important points on Ancestral Property;

  • The property should be four generations old.

  • The property should have been acquired by your great grandfather and no partition has been done.

  • It should not have been divided by the members of a joint Hindu family as once a partition of the property takes place, the share or portion which each Coparcener gets after the division becomes his or her self-acquired property.

  • Unlike other forms of inheritance, whereas inheritance opens only on the death of the owner, and the right to a share in ancestral or coparcenary property accrues by birth itself.

  • Ancestor property rights are determined per stripes and not per capita which means a share of each generation is first determined and the successive generations, in turn, subdivide what has been inherited by their respective predecessor.

  • Moreover, Properties inherited from mother, grandmother, uncle, and even brother is not ancestor property and property inherited by will and gift are also not ancestral properties.

  • Ancestor property can become ancestor property whereas if is thrown into the pool of ancestor properties and enjoyed in common.

  • Any property gifted by a father to his son cannot become ancestor property in the hands of the son because of the simple reason of the fact that he got it from his father.

  • According to Hindu Succession Amendment Act, 2005, every daughter, whether married or unmarried is considered a member of her father’s HUF and even be appointed as ‘Karta’.

  • Clarifying later, in the year 2005, the Supreme court passed an amendment of the Hindu Succession Act of 1956. Now, the amendment granted daughters the right to inherit ancester property along with their male relatives.


  • Property from paternal ancestors- As per Hindu law, the Hindu male inherits the property from his father, grandfather, great grandfather and great-great grandfather. In simple words, property acquired from any one of the four immediate paternal ancestors such property is called ancestor property.

  • Property Acquired through gift/will from paternal ancestors-If a property is acquired by gift/will from his ancestors, it can be considered as self-acquired property or ancestor property. It totally depends on the intention of the ancestral as mentioned in that deed/will. In case, the ancestors make a condition that the inheritor should acquire the property for the benefit of the family, it is considered as ancestor property. If no condition is made, then it is considered as separate property.

  • Property from maternal ancestors- An ancestor property inherited from the material ancestors it considered as separate property and not ancestor property.

  • Other property- Any other property which is bought from the income of the ancestor property is also known as ancestor property. Therefore, anything purchased with the assistance of ancestor property is termed as ancestor property.

According to section 26 of Hindu Succession Act, stated that if a person is converted their religion into other religion, still he has rights over the ancester property. In that condition, the conversion cannot stop from claiming the property, because he has the birthright over such property but the illegitimate child cannot claim any rights over ancestral property.


eStartIndia Team

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