Overview of Succession Certificate
A certificate given to the successor of a person who is dead and didn’t prepare a will for the distribution of his property to his relatives is called a succession certificate. Such a certificate gives authority and right over the deceased rights and liabilities to his successors. The names of the successors mentioned in the succession certificate are liable for payment of debts and have the power to transfer securities of the deceased.
Such a certificate is issued by a judge of the civil court where he has the legitimate jurisdiction over the successors of the person who died without making a will. It is also termed as Intestate Succession because the person leaves no will his property is distributed through succession.
Before the certificate is issued to the applicant, the court orders an investigation to verify the authenticity of the applicant, who claims to be the successor of the deceased person. Such a certificate contains all the details of the deceased and the legal heirs. The certificate also contains details with regard to all the assets and liabilities of the deceased to be transferred to the successors.
Eligibility for Succession Certificate
There is a specific list of people who are eligible to become successors. These are:
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Relevant necessary papers for Succession Certificate
Procedure to get Succession Certificate
- Writing the Petition
The first step is to pay the required fees in court as per the regulations prescribed. The applicant is then required to draft a petition and submit it before the district judge. The petition should be duly signed by the applicant to get a succession certificate.
2: Hearing and publishing
After the petition has been submitted, the judge calls the applicant for a preliminary hearing. After hearing the applicant, if the judge admits the petition, he gives a date for the final hearing to the applicant and informs all other interested people to attend the hearing with regard to the property of the deceased. The court publishes a notice in the newspaper for the interested parties to raise any objections within the prescribed time limit, if any.
3: Granting the certificate
If there are no objections raised by people in the given time period, then the judge will decide whether the applicant is eligible to apply for getting a succession certificate or not. After the judge completes the final hearing, the judge grants a succession certificate to the applicant.
4: Submitting the bond
To save potential losses to the property of the deceased and misuse of the succession certificate, the applicant has to provide surety or sureties as per the demand of the district judge.
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Succession Certificate Cost
The applicant is under an obligation to pay a court fee from a pre-decided portion of the value of the assets to get a succession certificate. The petitioner is required to pay the cost in the form of judicial stamp papers to receive the succession certificate in a sufficient amount to cover all the costs. After the payment is done, the succession certificate is typed and attested. It is then handed over to the petitioner.
Particulars of the Petition for Succession Certificate
The applicant has to sign and verify the petition for succession certificate before submitting the same to the district judge. There are a few particular details which should be mentioned in the petition by the applicant. These are:
Validity of Succession Certificate
A succession certificate issued in India is applicable to the whole of India. If a certificate has been granted by an Indian representative to a successor in a foreign country, the certificate is valid if it has been duly stamped as per the provisions of the Court Fees Act 1870. The certificate has the same effect as it has been granted in India.
This certificate is granted to distribute the property of the deceased. It is governed mostly by the personal laws prevailing in India. The people from the Hindu community are governed by the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act. For Indians, the governing law is Indian Succession Act.
Restriction on Succession Certificate
There are certain restrictions over granting of succession certificates. The district court may require the applicant to submit a bond mentioning names of securities to restrict the misuse of the succession certificate and to ensure that the applicant obliges with all the payments and securities.
Revocation of the Succession Certificate
There are certain grounds on which a succession certificate can get revoked. The grounds have been defined under Section 383 of the Indian Succession Act. These are:
An appeal shall lie against the order of the district judge to the respective High Court in the case when the district judge refuses to provide the certificate or revokes the same.
Difference between the legal heir and succession certificate
There are several differences between a legal heir and a succession certificate. These are as follows:
- Both certificates are different in nature. A direct family member such as a husband, wife, and child can apply for a succession certificate for the property of the deceased. Such certificate is granted for the purposes like transferring of bank account, telephone connection, payment of taxes, etc of the deceased to the legal successor. The certificate is also used for the inheriting property of the deceased under the prevailing property laws, whereas a legal heir certificate can be granted to the family of the deceased who was working as a government employee for the purposes of receiving a pension, job to the family member, and transfer of movable and immovable property, etc.
- A succession certificate is granted by the district judge to the successors of the deceased, whereas a legal heir certificate is issued by the tehsildar to the legal heirs of the deceased.
- Any legal heir of the deceased is eligible to apply for a succession certificate, whereas only children, wife, husbands or parents of the deceased can apply for a legal heir certificate.
- The main purpose of a succession certificate is for the transfer or distribution of property for payment of debts or security of the deceased person or for collection of debts or securities on behalf of the deceased, whereas the legal heir certificate is for seeking pension, insurance, other retirement claims, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
The steps are as followed:
- Drafting of the petition
- Hearing of the applicant and publishing of notice
- Grant of succession certificate
- Submission of bond