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HOW TO OBTAIN A SUCCESSION CERTIFICATE

Shreyash Mohta

SUCCESSION CERTIFICATE


In this blog I shall be discussing the detailed procedure by following which one can obtain a Succession Certificate. My blog shall contain the following contents in chronological order.

1.   What is a Succession Certificate?

2.   Who may obtain a Succession Certificate?

3.   What is the procedure for obtaining Succession Certificate?

4.   Particulars which must be included in the petition for a Succession Certificate

5.   Miscellaneous Topics


WHAT IS A SUCCESSION CERTIFICATE?

A Succession Certificate is a written document which is given to the legal heir/heirs of a person who at that point of time is no more alive [In other words – Deceased] without creating or making any will, [in other words – Intestate]. This certificate is issued by a District Judge so as to let the successors inherit all the debts and securities of the person against whom the applicant wants a succession certificate [In this case – The Deceased].

WHO MAY OBTAIN A SUCCESSION CERTIFICATE?

Generally, the class I legal heirs of the deceased person can apply for the grant of succession certificate.

WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING A SUCCESSION CERTIFICATE?

The legal process to be followed to obtain a succession certificate are mentioned below and should be followed in a chronological order as mentioned. They are: -

1.     The person who wants the certificate must prepare a petition, verify and sign it and thereafter submit it to the court of the District judge of the appropriate jurisdiction after paying the proper court fee.

[The court fee on the petition is Rs. 125/-]

2.     After this the District Judge is required to inspect the application made by the applicant and decide whether such application is admissible or not.

3.     If the District Judge find the application fit and admissible, the judge shall thereafter fix a date for the hearing of the above-mentioned petition and also send notice of this hearing to all those people which he thinks necessary.

4.     After the hearing, if the judge is satisfied that the applicant has his right to apply for such succession certificate, he shall thereafter grant the certificate.

[A fee is levied on the property value of the deceased, the maximum cap of which is RS. 50,000/-]

5.      The district judge shall also require the person making such application to provide a bond with either one or more sureties or any other security to make good any possible loss which might arise out of the use or misuse of such certificate.


PARTICULARS WHICH MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE PETITION OF A SUCCESSION CERTIFICATE

The following particulars must be included in the petition of the Succession Certificate. They are: -

  1. The proper and accurate time of the death of the deceased person in question.
  2. The ordinary place of residence of the deceased person at such time of death.
  3. If such ordinary place of residence is not available, then, details of the property which are within the local jurisdiction of the district judge to whom such application is made.
  4. The details of the family members and/or other near relatives of the deceased person and their respective residence address in full.
  5. The rights of the petitioner as is sought for.
  6. The absence of any reason to invalidate the grant of the certificate
  7. The debts and securities in respect of which the application is made

MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS

1.     The court may extend the Succession Certificate to the property which is later found out to be belonging to the deceased which was not known to the applicant who had previously applied for the grant of such succession certificate and had no clue about such the existence or non-existence of such property which had been later brought into light and known to the applicant.

2.     Once a Succession Certificate is granted by the District Judge, then it is valid all across India and needs not to be renewed. However, if the same is granted in a foreign land by an Indian Representative of that State, then it must be properly stamped in compliance with the Court Fees Act, 1870 to have the same value.

3.     It takes roughly around 7 to 8 months for the grant of Succession Certificate by the court [Provided it is not contested]. However, if the same is contested it may take a longer period of time.

4.     The grant of this certificate does not make the holder the actual owner of the property of the deceased but it merely gives nominee rights to the person, I.E. The holder of this certificate shall have the power to distribute the assets of the deceased person in question.

5.     No Succession Certificate is granted in cases where

                               I.           A probate or LOA [Letter of Administration] is necessary     OR

                             II.           Where there is a valid will.  

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