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SUJIT (5)     27 April 2024

Ancestral property right

Can a person be one of the legal heir on wife's ancestral property post her death in case they are having two major children and both are alive ? 


 4 Replies

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     27 April 2024

The husband being a widower and one of the class I legal heirs along with his children to his children, he is entitled for an equal share at par with the other legal heirs of his deceased wife.

Remember that he is entitled to a share out of his deceased wife's property alone whether it is her own self acquired property or a share inherited out of ancestral property.

Parth Chawla (Lawyer)     03 May 2024


To answer your query we need to dwell into Section 13 clause (1) of Hindu Succession Act, 1956 which provides general rules of succession in the case of female Hindu if there is self acquired property, then it should devolve as:

A)      Firstly, upon the children and husband of the deceased wife.

B)      Secondly, upon the heir of the husband

C)      Thirdly, upon the mother and father of the deceased

D)      Fourthly, upon the heirs of her father

E)       Lastly, upon heirs of her mother

Now, clause (2) of section 13 Hindu Succession Act, 1956 provides rules for property inherited by female Hindu from her ancestors, it provides that if a woman dies intestate and the property was inherited from her parents, it reverts back to her father’s heirs in the absence of any son or daughter of the deceased (including the children of any pre-deceased son or daughter) and not to the heirs referred to in sub section (1)

Now, we can conclude that if the wife has children then they would inherit the property as per the rules stated in section 13(2) of Hindu Succession Act,1956. As for your question, we can say that no one apart from deceased wife’s sons or daughters (including the children of pre-deceased son or daughter) and her father’s heirs can inherit the property.

Therefore, we can conclude that the husband is not eligible to be a legal heir to his wife’s ancestral property and since you have children who are major, they are the legal heirs of the pre-deceased wife.

Hope this solved your query.


Parth Chawla

P. Venu (Advocate)     09 May 2024

What do you mean by ancestral property? How can you assume that the property of the deceased lady is ancestral?

First of all, inform of the basic facts how she had got title to the property.

Aadil (Student)     20 May 2024

Dear Sujit,
Thank you for your query! I am Aadil and I will try to answer your question.

The short answer for your question is YES, the husband can be a legal heir to his wife’s property.

In India, matters like ancestral property, inheritance and succession, are mainly governed by the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. This act defines ancestral property to be any property that is four generations old, and has not been partitioned, sold or divided yet. Once the said property is partitioned or sold, it loses its status as ancestral property.
As per this Section 15 of this act, the following is the order of priority of legal heirs to a female’s property upon her death:

  1. The sons and daughters along with her husband
  2. The heirs of the husband
  3. The mother and father
  4. The heirs of the father
  5. The heirs of the mother

As evident from the above list, the husband, along with the female’s sons and daughters are legal heirs to her property.
Also, Section 14 of the same act defines ‘property’ to be any property, movable or immovable, self-acquired or inherited.
Therefore, the husband can very well be a legal heir to his wife’s ancestral property, or any property that she was the rightful owner of.

I hope this helps. Thank you for your time and patience!


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