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How to find your ancestral property details in India?

Retrieving century-old land documents of an inherited ancestral property may turn into a daunting task in the absence of adequate information. Therefore, to claim your right over such a property, it is essential you have the enlisted details readily available. Here’s a step-by-step guide to finding all the information about your ancestral property.

If we go by the definition, any property that is inherited from father or paternal grandfather or great-grandfather is an ancestral property. However, as per a few amendments made under the Hindu Succession Act of 1956, a property inherited by a son is not regarded as ancestral property but as a self-acquired property. Thus, the Supreme Court has dismissed some properties from the ambit of the ‘ancestral property’, including those inherited from mother, grandmother, uncle and even brother. Also, property inherited by Will or Gift Deed is not identified as ancestral property.

In India, inheritance of an ‘ancestral property’ is a common phenomenon; however, the inheritor is often unable to locate the details of the property, particularly those which are located in villages or talukas. Finding such a property could be compared to finding a needle in a heap of hay. If you too are facing difficulty in finding your ancestral property details, follow this step-by-step guide :

  • Log on to your respective State’s ‘bhumi jankari’ website, click on ‘query’, and then select the district/taluka/village
  • Here, search the names of your ancestors
  • If you are unable to find the name, visit the Tahasildar’s office and apply for the computer record of the Village form 8-A. If you get this form, you will be able to find out the total holding of your ancestors in the village
  • If you are still not able to get the details of the property, ask for Form VII-XII, VI and VIII-A. As per the Section 327 of MLR code, you can inspect these village forms. If you do not have the survey number of the land, you need to inspect all the forms available at the Tahasildar’s office
  • Once you get the survey number, you can search the history of the land with the help of Form VI. You can even search the history of the property with the survey number online by visiting the land and registration department’s official website. Once, you have the history; you can quickly know the present status of the property
  • Once you have traced your ancestral property, apply to make the necessary changes in the Record of Rights (Village form VI-XII). After that, consult an advocate for further formalities to claim your right on the property

What constitutes an ancestral property in India?

A property is said to be ancestral when:

  • It is at least four years old
  • It is not divided by the users in a joint family. Once the division takes place, the shared portion which is received by each coparcener after the division becomes his/her self-acquired property
  • It is not inherited from mother, grandmother, uncle or brother
  • It is not inherited by Will or a Gift Deed

Notable points:

  • A property which is self-acquired can become ancestral if it remains undivided. On the contrary, if it is divided among the legal heirs, the status of the property will change to self-acquired
  • The right to share in an ancestral property comes by birth
  • The share of each generation is determined, and the successive generations have to sub-divide the share inherited by their fathers and forefathers
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