Legal Heir Certificate: Identifying the Rightful Successor

Last Updated at: Oct 06, 2020
Legal heir certificate
In August 2020, the Supreme Court held that daughters would have equal coparcenary rights in HUF properties even if they were born before the 2005 amendment to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. This will be regardless of whether their father coparcener had died before the amendment. In the judgement, the Court said that daughters have to be given an equal share of coparcenary rights to be the legal heir of a property like a son.
  1. Difference between succession certificate and legal heir certificate

  2. People who can claim for the legal heir certificate

  3. Purpose of legal heir certificate

  4. Procedure for getting the legal heir certificate

  5. Applying for legal heir certificate online

  6. Applying for legal heir certificate offline

  7. Required documents


The last thing that any person would expect is the sudden demise of their family member, especially their close and loved ones. But, in such unexpected and unfortunate cases, if the person who passed away hasn’t nominated anyone for their assets, the role of a legal heir certificate comes into place. At such times, it is family members of the deceased who have the right over their property and assets. But, to obtain and claim the rights for the assets, one needs to follow all the legal procedures and get the legal heir certificate.

Before that most people believe that the heir certificate and succession certificate are the same terms, but, this is not the case. Here’s the difference between both.

Difference between succession certificate and legal heir certificate

There is a fine line of difference between both, the main being that the heirship certificate is issued by the municipal corporation while the succession certificate is issued by the civil court. The heirship certificate is not valid to solve any property disputes and is limited to only claiming for the assets, while the succession certificate provides the liberty to do so.

People who can claim for the legal heir certificate

The legal heir certificate online and offline options both follow the same rules, and the people applying for it can use any of the methods. But, claim for the legal heir certificate is valid only for only a few people who include the following:

Deceased’s –

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Siblings

Purpose of legal heir certificate

The heirship certificate also called a Varisu certificate serves various purposes, which include the following:

  • Claim for the insurance of the deceased
  • Transfer of the assets of the deceased into the successor’s account
  • Sanction of the family pension of the employee and the further process for the same
  • Taking the government dues of the deceased
  • For the government employees, applying for the salary or pension of the employee
  • Taking employment in case of such provisions
  • Inheriting the bank balance of the deceased
  • Taking the provident fund benefits of the deceased

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Procedure for getting the legal heir certificate

Getting the legal Varisu certificate is no tough nut to crack, till the time all the accurate and original information is provided avoiding bluffing the government. The application for the legal heir certificate can be done using both the online as well as offline methods.

Legal Heir Certificate – Proforma of legal heir certificate

Applying for legal heir certificate online

The steps to apply for the legal heir certificate online are as follows:

  • The heir who has to take the assets must be registered on the income tax e-portal.
  • Next, click on the option ‘register as a representative’ option.
  • Choose the option on new request from the drop-down list.
  • Further, choose the option ‘register on behalf of another person’.
  • After completing all these steps, the heir is required to provide all the details of the deceased person.
  • Next, upload all the necessary documents.
  • Then, finally submit the form.

Once the process is completed, it is verified and approved by the e-filing administrator. All the details are further provided on mail.

Applying for legal heir certificate offline

While the legal certificate online is quite an easy process, the offline process is still applicable, the steps for which are as follows:

  • To get the certificate, the individual has to approach the municipal corporation in the urban areas, and the Talukas in the rural areas.
  • To get the certificate issued, an application has to be submitted by the heirs of the deceased. Additionally, along with the application, it is mandatory to attach the application.
  • Also, the individual has to submit an affidavit.

The inspection process for the Varisu certificate takes place within 30 days and the heir receives the legal heir certificate.

Click here to download our Application form for Legal Heir Certificate.

Required Documents

The list of documents that have to be submitted by the heir includes the following:

  • Signed application form
  • Applicant’s/heir’s ID proof and residential proof
  • Deceased’s death certificate
  • Undertaking affidavit of the heir
  • Proof of the date of birth of the heirs applying for the certificate
  • Deceased’s residential proof


As such, in order to obtain the legal heir certificate, one must provide the accurate and right documents, else the application can get rejected during the approval procedure. These legal heir certificates can act as a support to the deceased’s family, by helping them with their assets, especially in the case of loss of family’s earning member.


Senior Executive - Content in Vakilsearch