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Maternal inheritance


My mother recently passed away and she had this feeling of being deprived of her rights all her life. Now that she is gone I would like to explore if the Indian Legal System had some provissions which could have given her right to the ancestral property while she was alive. And now that she is gone, do I also have any legal rights to the property.

My maternal grandfather, my mother's father, had some 30 bighas land somewhere in Himachal. He inherited it from his father. And like my grandfather, his 4 cousins also acquired land in same area. My grandfather had 2 sisters but none of them got or claimed any share in this property. My grandfather had two daughters and one son. I am the only son of his eldest daughter. His other two children also have one son each.

My grandfather passed away some 10 yrs ago and left a legal will. In this will the 30 bigha property was given to his son's son. While nothing of this inherited property of 30 bighas was given to my mother or her sister or their children. This property has orchards and 2 big houses. This is the main inherited property in question and I have following questions for the community:

1. Did my mother have any claim to this property even if my grandfather in his will have given it to his son's son? Because this property was inherited not self acquired.

2. Today after my mother is gone, do I have any right to any part of this property?

3. Do my grandfather's two sisters have any claim?Both of them are still alive.

Besides this property, my grandfather had a house at a different place. This  house had three floors and he named one floor each in his will to his 3 grandsons, ie me and my 2 cousins. 

He also selfacquired some 9 bighas in some other place in his lifetime. This piece he willed to his two daughters's sons. That is me and my cousin. Both of the daughters of my grandfather have one son each. However this property is valued at 45Lakhs and the other 30 bighas is in a different place and is valued 50 cr. 



 8 Replies

P. Venu (Advocate)     10 June 2024

Facts posted suggest the properties to be self acquired, not ancestral. Your mother has been the legal heir to the properties, if any, left intestate. Though her, you also have a share over those properties, if at all any such peoperty left intestate.


Thanks for your response. 

I am a bit confused and if I understand you correctly you mean even though my grandfather inherited this property it will be  legally considered self acquired not ancestral. If possible can you please clarify a bit coz I would like to highlight that my grandfather inherited this property from his father, who in turn inherited it from his father.

I do understand your point for the intestate case but this doesn't apply in this case as my grandfather did leave behind a will. 

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     10 June 2024

1. Your grandfather inherited his share of property out of his father's property. Thus the property inherited by him becomes his self acquired property hence he had full rights to transfer his property to anyone of his choice as per his own decision.

Since it was not an ancestral property as you imagine, your mother never had any rights in the property so you cannot claim any such rights in the property.

2. No, see the above answer.

3. If your grandfather's father was reported to have died intestate then his legal heirs are entitled for a rightful share out of their father's properties.

You should be contended to what has been given to you by your grandfather and not beyond that because you should understand the law involved in this.

1 Like


My grandfather inherited the complete property as held by his father without partitioning it with his only two sisters. Does this fact qualify the property held by my grandfather as ancestral contrary to the 1st line in the last reply. If so then my mother had a valid claim or not 

Dr. J C Vashista (Advocate )     11 June 2024

You have a share in the ancestral property of your grandfather (NANA) which he has acquired by inheritance. 

Whatever, his (your G/F's) self acquired property can not be ancestral in your hands. 

Post the facts clearly and separately if you want obligation of experts on this platform.

However, it is better to consult a local prudent lawyer with relevant records for proper analyses of facts and professional advise.

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     11 June 2024

From your contents it appears that it is not ancestral property.

If you feel that your mother has any rights in the property you should post proper and correct details otherwise you can consult an experienced lawyer in the local with all relevant papers in person.


My only question after all this valuable discussion is at what point the property inherited by my grandfather from his father cease to be ancestral. I have gathered that post a partition the the property becomes self acquired by the recipients.I am not sure how valid is it,  but in this case my grandfather received the property 100% without partitioning it with his two sisters.

I don't intend to press my rights if any are established but I do want to establish if my mother had any rights despite my grandfather's will. And coming from a small town reaching out to local lawyers is not an option for me coz privacy is not possible and I do want this to spoil our relationships. So this platform is best option I have for my queries please.

I sincerely thank Mr T. Kalaiselvan, Dr. J C Vashista and Mr P. Venu for your time. And I wish someone can quench my my last queries please.


P. Venu (Advocate)     11 June 2024

An ancestral property is a property which is inherited by a person up to four generation of male lineage i.e., his or her father, father’s father, or great-grandfather by birth.  According to Mitakshara Law, the right to ancestral property arises from the birth itself, for a property to be an ancestral property it must remain as an undivided property.

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