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Legal Heir

What Steps are Involved in Applying for a Legal Heir Certificate?

In this article, we will discuss the detailed procedure of application for legal heir certificate, eligible persons for a legal heir certificate, and the documents needed for the application.

In case of the sudden death of a member of a family, the person must obtain a legal heir certificate. The certificate is needed to transfer the demised person’s assets to their legal heir/s. The corporation or municipality issues the certificate, and the applicant can obtain it to claim their possession of the properties and other assets. The lawyers can help draft and register a heir certificate for the applicant. 

Purposes of a Legal Heir Certificate 

A legal heir primary purpose is to possess a demised person’s asset. A rightful successor can claim the properties of a person who is dead and had been well-known or had a blood relation to the applicant. Therefore, if a person wants to possess or claim the deceased person’s property, he must have a certificate to validate the claim. 

The uses of a legal heir certificate are as follows: 

  • In case there is a need for transferring properties or assets of a demised person to their successors, relatives, or someone else.
  • If the successor wants to file an insurance claim.
  • If the successor is looking for the deceased person’s provident fund, gratuity, or other government grants.
  • If the deceased person had been an employee of an organisation and the successor wants to apply for a pension or some grant from the organisation after the person’s death.
  • In order to apply for salary arrears of the person if he was a government employee under the state or central government. 
  • In case the successor is looking for job appointments if the person had died suddenly while working in that organisation. 

A legal heir certificate is also necessary if the successor wants to purchase or register a property. The property must submit a legal certificate to certify their property ownership. There might be possible instances that the deceased person has several legal heirs who can claim the ancestral property. According to the law, every legal heir must sign the deed of conveyance. The deed certifies approval to the applicant to possess the ancestral property and get rid of any inheritance issues in the future.

You Can get the best available information and Vakilsearch Legal heir Services Online.

Persons Who Are Eligible for a Legal Heir Certificate

According to the Indian law, the persons who are eligible for claiming a legal heir certificate, are as follows:

  • The demised person’s spouse 
  • The demised person’s children. Children refer to both son and daughter. 
  • The demised person’s parents 

Legal procedure in applying for a legal heir certificate 

If a person wants to get a valid legal heir certificate, he can apply to the area/taluk Tahsildar if he lives in a rural area. In case the applicant lives in a town or city, he can apply for the same to the corporation, municipality office, or the district civil court.

There will be an inquiry by the authority to find the validity of the claim for possessing the assets. After the enquiry process, the authority will issue the legal heir mentioning the names of all legal heirs of the person who is no more. The process through which a person can get a heir certificate is as follows:

  • If a person is the legitimate heir of the deceased person, he can apply to the district court in his area to submit his claim as the legal heir of the deceased person. The applicant must complete and sign the application form before submitting it to the court. There must be an explicit mention of the names, relationships, and detailed addresses of the legal heir/s. 
  • The application should include a stamp paper affidavit or self-declaration from the applicant.
  • The applicant should attach the deceased person’s death certificate with the application. The death certificate is available from the municipality or corporation.
  • The revenue inspector or the administrative officer will be responsible for inspecting to certify the applicant’s claim. 
  • After the inquiry process, the responsible authority will issue the heir certificate to the applicant. 

The whole process of applying for a legal heir certificate will take around 30 days. The applicant may approach the Revenue Division Officer (RDO) or the sub-collector in his area if the applicant experiences an uncertain delay in getting the certificate or there is no response from the certificate issuing authorities. 

Essential documents to be submitted for claiming a legal heir certificate 

The documents that the applicant must submit to get a legal certificate are

  • Valid proof of identity of the applicant
  • Valid address proof of the applicant
  • Correctly filled and signed application form
  • The departed person’s death certificate
  • The legal heir/s valid birth proof
  • Self-declared affidavit 
  • Valid address proof of the departed person

Valid ID proof can be Aadhar Card, Voter ID, passport, driving license, or any valid identity proof issued by the government. Address proof of the applicant may be a gas bill, electricity bill, telephone bill, or bank passbook mentioning the name and address of the applicant who claims to be the legal heir of the deceased person. The applicant can submit a birth certificate, school transfer certificate, passport, and PAN card details as birth proof.

How a succession certificate is different from a legal heir certificate ?

The difference between the succession certificate and the legal heir certificate is as follows:

  • A succession certificate is issued for an immovable property of the demised person. On the other hand, a legal certificate is granted to possess both movable and immovable property of the departed person. 
  • The applicant has to pay 3% of the total property value in case of a succession certificate. The applicant has to pay minimum charges for the affidavit to claim a leag heir certificate.
  • Tahsildar of the district is responsible for issuing heir certificates. On the contrary, the court grants succession certificates to the deceased person’s legal heirs.
  • In the case of a succession certificate, any direct successor to the demised person can apply for a succession certificate. The applicant may be the person’s close relative. But, a legal certificate is only issued to the departed person’s wife, parents, and children. 

How can a legal heir file the certificate to the ITRs?

The procedure is as follows: 

  • The applicant can Log in to the income tax website for e-filing information as a registered user. If the person is not a registered user, he can register by providing valid information.
  • The next step is selecting the My Account section and selecting the new request option. 
  • The user can register himself as the representative of the other person. The applicant has to submit more information by selecting from the drop-down box. 
  • Update the valid papers and submit your request to the e-Filing Administrator for filing ITRs


It is difficult for you to perform all legal responsibilities to get a legal heir certificate. If you want legal assistance for filing an application for a legal heir certificate, contact the reputed lawyers of Vakilsearch. 

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