All about Succession Certificate

The Indian Succession Act defines a succession certificate as a document that authorizes the person who acquires it to act in the place of the dead for the purpose of collecting debts and securities owed to him or payable in his name. In the absence of a will, a succession certificate will usually be the principal instrument via which heirs can lay a claim to a deceased relative’s possessions.

A magistrate or a high court should be contacted for a succession certificate. In most courts, a separate cell is responsible for issuing succession certificates.

This certificate allows the dead person’s successor(s) to collect on his or her obligations and securities. Because it does not determine the deceased person’s right, title, and interest to a particular property or the entire property, the issuance of a succession certificate does not provide right of succession to the claimed property of a deceased person. The successor(s) of an intestate deceased person, on the other hand, have the right to inherit the deceased person’s property.

Succession certificate for immovable property:

We have scenarios when legal heirs assert ownership of title and possession in this scenario. The title to a property can be transmitted by a systematic procedure based on a factum of a Will or the Law of Natural Succession, in which class I legal heirs are the inheritors.

A Gift Deed can also be used to make a transfer while the individual is still living. In some situations, a person’s right can be asserted through a partition.

After these steps are completed, the individual has complete ownership power. 

Intestate Succession and succession certificate:

Succession is a controversial subject in a country as vibrant and varied as India. It may be either.

Testamentary succession – one who has made a will;

 Intestate succession – one who has not made a will.

A will is essentially a statement that expresses a person’s wishes regarding his estate and directs the transfer of that asset upon his death. A person is said to have died intestate if he has not disposed of an asset under a will, or if the disposition under the will is not capable of taking effect due to an invalid or unlawful bequest. Intestacy can be complete or partial.

If a person dies intestate, his or her assets are dispersed according to the Indian Succession Act’s mandate. The assets are vested in accordance with the applicable personal laws. When there are several heirs, however, the situation becomes more complicated due to the fact that certain assets are more valuable than others.

Who has the right to lodge a claim?

To file a claim, you’ll need either a letter of administration or a court-issued succession certificate.

In the following situations, a Succession Certificate may be obtained:

  • If you don’t need probate or letters of administration,
  • If the dead was a Muslim or a Christian,
  • If the dead was a Hindu and left a Will.
  • When a Hindu family’s shared family property is implicated.

When succession certificate is not required?

A succession certificate may not be required if a will has been left behind since the assets will be divided according to the will by an executor. Though a succession certificate is not required when a Will is present, certain Indian states need both probate and a succession certificate if any immovable property is to be transferred.

A succession certificate cannot be granted if the deceased individual has left behind a legally enforceable will, according to Section 370 of the Indian Succession Act, since the executor of the Will is expected to carry out everything the Will directs.

Documents required for obtaining succession certificate:

The following is a list of the documents needed to apply for a Succession Certificate:

  • Death Certificate
  • Pan card of all the legal heirs
  • Proof of all legal heirs’ addresses.
  • By stamping a court fee stamp on a prescribed application form

The key distinctions between a Succession Certificate and a Legal Heir Certificate are as follows:

BasisSuccession CertificateLegal Heir Certificate
ApplicabilityTo seek power to acquire the deceased’s debts and securities in the absence of a will.To establish a claim as a legitimate heir to the deceased’s inheritance.
ContentsThe applicant’s relationship to the dead, as well as the obligations and securities sought.Lists all of the deceased’s lawful heirs.
FunctionEstablishes the certificate holder’s power to inherit the deceased’s obligations and securities, as well as providing protection to parties paying obligations.Identifies and establishes a dead person’s living heirs.
EffectsThe holder may or may not be the final beneficiary of the deceased’s estate.The possessor has the right to inherit the property.
Documents RequiredThe death certificate of a deceased person, the time and location of death, the names of all legal heirs, and the deceased person’s relationship are all required documents to get succession certificates.To get a Legal Heir Certificate, you will need an authentic death certificate, an identity card, a ration card, the names and relationships of family members, and an affidavit worth Rs. 20 on stamp paper.
FeeA fee of three percent of the property’s total worth will be levied for the succession certificate.  To issue a legal heir certificate, you will need to pay Rs. 2 for a stamp and Rs. 20 for stamp paper for the affidavit.
Time PeriodThe court issues a 45-day newspaper notice in the instance of a succession certificate. Anyone who has a problem with the advertisement can register a complaint. If there are no objections, the court will issue a succession certificate. It’s possible that this procedure may take 5-7 months.  It takes 15 to 30 days to issue a legal heir certificate.

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