Hindu Undivided Family

January 18, 2024
symbolizing justice and order


The Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) is a unique and ancient concept in Hindu law that plays a significant role in the realm of succession. Rooted in the principles of joint family and common ownership, an HUF is governed by the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. This article delves into the intricacies of the Hindu Undivided Family, exploring its meaning, legal framework, and its position within the Hindu Succession Act.

Hindu Undivided Family Meaning:

The term “Hindu Undivided Family” refers to a specific form of organization that has its roots deeply embedded in Hindu traditions. It is essentially a joint family structure wherein members are bound together by a common lineage, ancestry, and property. The concept is founded on the idea of undivided and joint ownership of property, with the family members collectively managing and enjoying the benefits of the family assets.

Hindu Undivided Family Provision:

The legal foundation for the Hindu Undivided Family is provided by the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. This legislation was enacted to consolidate and amend the laws relating to intestate succession among Hindus, providing clarity on matters of inheritance and succession. The HUF is recognized as a distinct legal entity under this act, and its provisions govern the devolution of property within such families.

The concept of HUF finds its roots in ancient Hindu scriptures and is deeply entrenched in Hindu customs and traditions. Hindu law recognizes the joint family system, considering the family as a single unit with collective ownership of property. The Mitakshara and Dayabhaga schools of Hindu law, two major schools of thought, further expound upon the principles governing HUFs, outlining the rights, duties, and liabilities of its members.

Hindu Undivided Family under Hindu Succession Act:

The Hindu Succession Act, 1956, provides a comprehensive framework for the devolution of property in the event of the death of a Hindu individual. Section 6 of the Act addresses the devolution of interest in coparcenary property, and it is crucial in understanding the dynamics of the Hindu Undivided Family. This section underwent significant amendments in 2005, abolishing the concept of coparcenary in Mitakshara joint family property and conferring equal rights on daughters.

Key Provisions and Features:

Joint Ownership and Management: The fundamental feature of an HUF is the joint ownership and management of family property. The property is treated as a common pool, and all family members, known as coparceners, have a right to it by birth.

Formation of HUF: An HUF is formed automatically through the union of a person and his descendants. The family expands through marriages and the birth of children, contributing to the growth of the joint family.

Distinct Legal Entity: The HUF is recognized as a separate legal entity under Hindu law. It can own property, incur debts, and enter into contracts as an entity distinct from its individual members.

Coparcenary Rights: Before the 2005 amendment to the Hindu Succession Act, only male members had coparcenary rights. However, after the amendment, daughters also acquired equal coparcenary rights, challenging the traditional gender bias.

Partition and Dissolution: The concept of partition is pivotal in the functioning of an HUF. A partition can be either partial or total, leading to the distribution of the family property among its members. It marks the separation of individual interests, transforming the joint family into separate entities.


The Hindu Undivided Family, as governed by the Hindu Succession Act, is a testament to the rich cultural and legal heritage of India. Its unique structure, emphasizing joint ownership and familial bonds, has adapted over the years to accommodate societal changes. The legal recognition of equal rights for daughters in HUF property showcases a step towards gender equality within the traditional framework. Understanding the dynamics of HUF is crucial for anyone navigating the complex landscape of Hindu succession law, as it not only preserves cultural values but also ensures an equitable distribution of family wealth.

Leave a Comment