A Hindu Undivided Property (HUF) implies a property that is is jointly owned by linear descendants of a common ancestor. The joint family might include unmarried daughters and wives of sons of the ancestral individual.
An HUF sometimes consists of female relatives, daughters, as well as distant male blood relatives. However, the males who can claiam rights on HUF includes only those males who fall within 4 degrees from the common ancestor. Generally, daughters tend to stop being members of HUF on their marriage. However, unmarried daughtes continue to be a possible stakeholder in the HUF property.
The Hindu Law is divided under two schools of thoughts that govern the rights of family members to HUF. These two schools are the Dayabaga and the Mitakshara school. The Dayabaga school of thought runs in some areas of Bengal while the Mitakshara school of thought covers the rest of India including some parts of Bengal. Under Dayabaga Law, the son does not get a share in the family property from birth. The son can enjoy possession of the property but all the rights to the ownership of the property lies with the father till his existence. There is no unity in ownership. There are some other differences with inheritence regulations, partition, etc. between both the schools of thoughts.
The land or property under HUF could be collected from multiple sources which could include gift, partition, will, existing properties, etc. However, any property that is acquired by a single male is to pass on to his legal heirs.
Demise of any co-holder of the property will pass the HUF to the other co-holders and through them to the legal heirs. If such legal heirs are female relatives or males related to such female relatives then the property, after transfer, would be considered a separate property.
HUF could consist of just a man and a wife. Once such a HUF is confirmed, then such a couple can potentially receive properties from any source and consider it as a part of HUF.
Do note that the term 'co-holder' of an HUF refers to individuals who acquire interest by birth in the joint property. These co-holders generally include male members within 4 degree from the ancestor including the ancestor. This includes the father, son, grandson, and great grandson. For e.g., the HUF in case of the Father's demise, would provide ownership to cousins, brothers, uncles, nephews, etc.
In case a Hindu receives a property from his father, as a legal heir, and has only wife and daughters, then this property will be considered as an individual property.
Generally, a HUF cannot be subjected to transfer through Will. Only the portion received through an individual's personal work is considered as individual property. A will can be made only to transfer self acquired property. Any will made to transfer joint family can be considered invalid.
Under HUF, on demise of a co-holder, the female heirs will get a portion of the father's share based on deemed partition. Such inheritence will cease to be a part of HUF and the rest of the portion will continue to be a part of joint property.