Hindu Undivided Family
What is HUF ?
Hindu undivided family is a group of persons from common ancestor and consist of only hindus.
Hindu undivided family not only consist of male members but it also include female member. Karta is the head of the family. Coparceners are the family members. After 2005 amendment, unmarried and married daughters are also co-parcener.
Two schools of law regulate Hindu Undivided Family, they are:
- Mitakshara school of law.
- Dayabhaga school of law.
Mitakshara school of law covers all states except the state of Assam and Bengal. It was in existence until The Succession(Amendment) Act 2005. In this, school only son by birth can get interest in the ancestral property.
Dayabhaga school of law covers only state of Assam, Bengal and other parts of world. In this school, son do not get interest in ancestral property by birth but by death of father.
HUF can be proprietor as well as trustee at the same time but it should be approved by the coparceners. It can also invest in movable and immovable assets.
Senior most person in the family is karta. Most important person of hindu undivided family is karta who takes important decisions in the family. Male member can be karta but after 2006 amendment female can also become karta. Karta also manages the family as an manager. A minor can karta in absence of his father or karta. A junior coparcener can also become karta if karta so allows.
Powers of karta
Karta has the following powers:
- Power to take decisions.
- Manages the affairs of family.
- Borrow money and lend money on behalf of HUF.
- Also take decision of partition.
- Not accountable to anybody in family.
- Transfer property in benefit of family.
- Karta will do partition.
- Enter into contract on behalf of HUF.
- Spend money and not answerable.
- Gift movable property on behalf of family.
Coparcenary means taking birth in hindu undivided family to create a interest in the joint ancestral property. After 2006 females are also coparceners. A person can become coparcener by birth in hindu undivided family. Coparcener have right to demand partition. Only coparcener have right in the ancestral property. Wives of coparceners can not demand for partition, only widow of deceased coparcener can ask for their share.
The basic difference between coparcener and member of HUF is coparcener have right to demand partition whereas member do not have right to demand partition. Therefore, every coparcener is member but every member is not coparcener.
There are two types of coparcenary property under Mitakshara Law :
- Obstructed Heritage.
- Unobstructed Heritage.
Obstructed Heritage means when a person gets interest in a property not by birth but by death of last owner. Unobstructed Heritage means a when a person gets interest in a property by birth as there is no obstruction of existence of owner.
Rights of Coparceners.
Following are the rights of Coparceners:
- Equal possession of the ancestral property.
- A share in the income of the family.
- Also joint possession of the ancestral property..
- Take against other coparceners.
- Receive maintenance and other expenses for their family.
- Stop wrong things happening in family.
- Demand for partition.
- Waive off their rights.
- Purchase own personal property.
- Moreover manage the property in absence of karta.