What is Succession Certificate?

Succession Certificate is a legal Document provided to the successors of a deceased person. If a deceased person didn't prepare a will and died Intestate, this document provides you the authority over the securities, debts or all other assets along with authenticity of right.

The civil courts which grant the issuance of succession certificate, comes under the Indian Succession Act, 1925. Under this provision, the Successors of a deceased person who has left behind debts or equities are availed with the Succession certificate. Therefore, it helps in establishing the rightful owner and provides a certain authority over the deceased person’s debts and securities.

With the help of our experienced and seasoned lawyers, NRIs can apply for succession certificate in any court in India.

Why do NRIs Require Succession Certificate?

There are many struggling situations for NRIs when they have to access their inherited property or assets that are present in India. As NRIs are not aware of the Indian laws and regulations, most of the times they don’t even possess the required documents at the time of accession. Succession Certificate is one such important document.

A Succession Certificate for a NRI gives an entitlement to transfer the debts and securities to the holder of the certificate. In other words, having this certificate would automatically establish the rightful owner of the assets of a deceased person. Therefore, many individuals or organizations make sure to attain this certificate before settling debts and securities of the departed individual.

The valid Successors need the succession certificate as the banks and institutions also ask for a succession certificate for heirs to transfer the assets to the legal heirs.

How to apply and get a succession certificate in India for NRI?

The Indian Government has mandated the possession of a succession certificate so that appropriate legal heirs can easily claim their assets. These assets are movable and can be in the form of funds in the bank account, securities, debts, equities, etc.

In order to obtain a succession certificate, the below mentioned points should be attended to while filing a petition:

> This certificate is granted by the District Judge or in the High Court falling under the qualified jurisdiction.

> It is to be kept in mind that a qualified or competent jurisdiction is that particular district in which the deceased resided at the time of his death. If there is an unavailability of such a place then the consideration of the jurisdiction is towards the location of the assets.

> The petition under section 372 of Indian Succession Act 1925, should be in the form of an affidavit from the Class I legal heirs or it can be from the successor of the deceased person only and no other relative.

Details required to obtain a Succession Certificate

The valid legal heir can apply to the court of Jurisdiction to obtain the Succession Certificate. The application should be in prescribed format and should contain the key essential elements given herewith:

  1. Resident Information.
  2. The rights of applicant.
  3. No obstacle in the grant of certificate.
  4. The time of death of deceased's person.
  5. Important information about family, class-I legal heirs or nearby relatives.
Documents required to obtain a Succession Certificate

The Successor or Legal heir of the deceased person has to furnish the following perquisite documents and details. It is important to mention that all the documents should be attested and presented to the Judge:

  1. Details of the deceased person.
  2. Right of the applicant’s claim toward the assets.
  3. A valid government Identity Card of the applicant
  4. An Affidavit on a Legal Stamp Paper of Rs 20
  5. Details about the debts and securities of the deceased
  6. A No Objection Certificate from legal heirs other than the petitioner (if any).
  7. Details of the Legal Heirs and the family members or other near relatives alongside individual addresses.
  8. It is important to address that the certificate will be granted efficiently. If there is an absence of any grounds which may lead to revoking of the grant.
  9. A Photocopy of the death certificate of the deceased with details like time of death, ordinary residence before death or address of the location where he passed away.

Note: A succession certificate will charge 3% of the total value of the property.

Procedure for obtaining the Succession certificate

  1. The applicant has to submit all the necessary documents to the authorities and pay the requisite court fee as well.
  2. The District Judge will check the authenticity of the documents in order to accept the application. Afterwards there will be a date for the next hearing for all the concerned parties to appear in the court.
  3. The court issues a notice to all the legal heirs and close relatives so as to give a chance to raise an objection to the claim of an applicant.
  4. The court further directs to publish a Notice in the local newspapers to confirm that there is no protest from the general public till the deadline fixed by the court.
  5. The judge assesses the plea and decides to grant the certificate.
  6. As a caution, the Judge assigns the applicant to grant a bond with one or more sureties or any other security in case the certificate has been in usage of ill intentions.
  7. In the final stage, the Judge gives the order in the form of a document stating the details like dividend, interest, negotiation or transfer or both that will be provided to the applicant based on the debts and securities mentioned in the application.

Also, there might be cases where the court has issued succession certificate to more than one legal heir. So, the court will provide a joint certificate.


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FAQs About Succession Certificate in India

Can we claim immovable properties also under petition for Succession Certificate? 

No. Petition for Succession Certificate is filed only to claim movable assets like funds lying in Savings Accounts, FDRs, Pension money etc.

What documents do we need for filing Succession Certificate? 

We require original bank related documents to show in the Court. If the original documents are not in possession of the claimant, the original record can be summoned in Court from concerned Banks. Alongwith this, Original death certificate of the person whose assets are being claimed is required to be attached with the petition. If the assets are being claimed on the basis of Will, original Will is required.

Why do you require a Succession Certificate? 

The Banks and financial institutions do not permit the legal heirs to operate the bank accounts of a deceased person without any proper court order to circumvent any discrepancy. Hence, the Petition for Succession Certificate is filed to obtain order in this respect.

What is the time limitation to file for Succession Certificate? 

Petition for Succession Certificate can be filed anytime. There is no time limitation.

What are the basis for filing petition for Succession Certificate? 

Succession Certificate can be claimed on the basis of a Will or natural succession.

Can daughters claim movable assets of deceased father/mother? 

Yes, unless there is a Will in place in which the testator has exclusively excluded his/her daughters from inheritance of his/her properties which were his/her self acquired properties.

How much time it takes to conclude this case? 

It depends upon case to case. However, the minimum time is approximately one year.

What are the other expenses to obtain Succession Certificate apart from paying the lawyer? 

Court Fee has to be paid upon the total amount being claimed under petition for Succession Certificate. It is a mandatory requirement and the amount of Court fee varies from State to State.

Who all are made parties in the Petition of Succession Certificate? 

The first party is always ‘General Public’. As per the Court order, publication is made in order to invite objections from the general public as prescribed under Indian Law. All the legal heirs of deceased who are not claiming anything from the assets of the deceased are also made parties to the suit. Banks can also be impleaded as parties, in case the original bank documents are not with the claimant.

When the Court passes favourable order, what are the next steps? 

The Court may also require the applicant to sign an Indemnity Bond to secure the entitled persons. This Bond may also require a Surety or some other security. That will ensure no possible loss arises out of the use or misuse of such certificate.After furnishing the Surety, the Court grants Succession Certificate. On the basis of Succession Certificate assets can be claimed.

What is the difference between Legal heir Certificate and Succession Certificate? 

A legal heir certificate is to recognize the lawful living successors of a deceased person. On the other hand, the succession certificate is to first recognize the lawful living successors of a deceased person and thereafter, authorize them to claim movable assets of deceased person.


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