What is a Succession Certificate?
A Succession Certificate is a certificate granted by Civil Courts in India to the legal heirs of a person dying intestate (without a will) leaving unclaimed debts and securities. A person is said to have passed away intestate when he/she does not leave a legal will. A Succession Certificate entitles the holder of the certificate to make payment of debts or transfer securities on behalf of the deceased, without having to ascertain the legal heir entitled to do so.
The Succession Certificate provides indemnity to all persons owing such debts or liable on such securities with regards to all payments made to, or dealings in good faith, with the person to whom the certificate as granted. Hence, many organisations and people request a Succession Certificate before settling the debts or securities of the deceased, in favour of the person claiming such debts or securities. The Succession Certificate is issued according to the applicable law of inheritance.
Benefits of A Succession Certificate
- In the absence of nomination or will, the heir to a piece of property or financial assets is required to prove his/her claims to them. In such cases, depending on the asset, an heir might be asked to produce either a Succession Certificate or a letter of administration.
- For a movable property like the provident fund, bank deposits, shares, loans, or other securities, a Succession Certificate is required.
- For an immovable property like land or jewellery, one has to produce a letter of administration in support of his or her claim.
Checklist for obtaining A Succession Certificate
To obtain Succession Certificate,
- A petition to the district judge within whose jurisdiction the deceased person ordinarily resided at the time of his or her death, or
- If at that time the deceased did not have a fixed place of residence, a petition to the district judge within whose jurisdiction any part of the property of the deceased may be found.
How Vakilsearch Helps In Procuring A Succession Certificate
Creation Of Application
We will connect you with experienced lawyers, who will prepare the application for a Succession Certificate after collecting all the required documents.
Filing Of Application
If the district judge is satisfied with the preparation of the petition, an opportunity will be granted to hear the person who, in his/her opinion, should be heard. After hearing from all parties, the judge will decide the right of the petitioner, to be granted the Succession Certificate. The judge would then pass an order to grant the certificate.
Documents required for Succession Certificate
- The death certificate of the deceased, with the time of death.
- Residence or details of properties of the deceased at the time of death, within which the jurisdiction falls under.
- Details of family or other relatives of the deceased.
- The rights of the petitioner.
- Absence of any impediment to the grant of certificate.
FAQs on Succession Certificate
After hearing all parties, the Judge can decide the right of the petitioner, to be granted the Succession Certificate. The Judge would then pass an order to grant a certificate specifying the debts and securities set forth in the application empowering the person to receive interest or dividend or to negotiate or transfer, or both.
A court can sometimes require a bond with one or more surety or sureties or any other security, for rendering an account of debts and securities received by the petitioner of a Succession Certificate. This is for indemnifying the persons who may be entitled to any part of the debt or securities.
A Succession Certificate is valid throughout the entire nation of India.
If a certificate is granted in a foreign country, by an Indian representation accredited to that country, it should be stamped in accordance with the Court Fees Act 1870 to have the same effect in India as a certificate granted in India.
If someone dies intestate, before administration of the estate is entrusted to someone or when no executor is appointed under the will of deceased or when an executor is appointed but he refuses to act, then the Letters of administration may be issued. These are issued to entitle the administrator to all the rights required for the effective administration of the estate of the deceased.
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