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All you need to know about succession certificate

[] A succession certificate is an important piece of document, to gain authority over the assets of a deceased person, who died without preparing a will

Succession certificate

Property owners, who expire without leaving a will, are said to have died intestate. In such cases, the family has to get a succession certificate, which certifies the successor of the deceased. As per sections 380, 381 and 382 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, a succession certificate holder can take responsibility of the deceased’s assets in addition to any debts he had. The person is then entitled to claim the assets, as per the succession laws. The succession certificate is mandatory, for claiming all kinds of immovable and movable assets, such as bank balance, fixed deposits, investments, etc.

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Succession certificate

What is succession certificate?

What is succession certificate in family law, is a question which everyone who may inherit a property in the absence of a will should have a clear understanding of. The succession certificate meaning translates into a document given to the next of kin or the successor of a deceased person who has not prepared a will, to establish his successor. The succession certificate meaning is giving an authority to the successor over the deceased person’s debts and securities and to transfer it under his own name.

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Succession certificate: Purpose

When succession certificate is required is a commonly asked query. The succession certificate in family law empowers the holder to receive interest/dividend on the securities and negotiate or transfer such securities as mentioned in the certificate. All payments made to and by the succession certificate holder on behalf of the deceased person, will be legally valid. These are some of the important reasons on when succession certificate is required.  Also, the succession certificate in India is valid in the entire country.

Succession certificate: Who issues it?

The succession certificate in family law is issued by the district judge of the area, where the deceased lived at the time of his death or has any property belonging to him/her. To get a succession certificate, one must file a petition with the relevant district court.

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Relevant jurisdiction would be the place where the deceased stayed during the time of his death. In the absence of this, relevant jurisdiction will be the place where a property of the deceased is located at.

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Succession certificate: Documents required for filing petition

Documents required for succession certificate include:

  • Time of the death of the person.
  • Address of the deceased person at the time of death.
  • Property details of the deceased person.
  • Assets, securities and debts of the deceased person
  • Family details of the deceased person.
  • Legal heirs details of the deceased person.
  • Rights of the succession certificate petitioner
  • NOC from legal heirs

Also read about NOC certificate

Succession certificate: How to get it?

How to get succession certificate and how much time it takes to get succession certificate is a commonly asked query. The legal heir needs to submit a petition in the local court in the area where the asset of the deceased is situated. The petition for application of uttaradhikar praman patra, the succession certificate meaning in gujarati should include:

  • Names of all heirs
  • Details about time, date and place of death
  • Copy of the death certificate

Once the petition for succession certificate is received, the court will issue a notice in the newspaper and to all the respondents. The court provides a period of 45 days to the respondents, to file objections regarding the succession certificate petition. The succession certificate is issued in the favour of the petitioner, if the court does not receive any responses or no one contests the succession certificate petition within the stipulated time. Answer to the commonly asked query on how much time it takes to get succession certificate is the issuance usually takes five to seven months. Also, many times the judge may make the succession certificate petitioner sign an indemnity bond so that the court has some security in case there is misuse of the succession certificate that is reported.

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Succession certificate cost

The succession certificate petitioner needs to pay a fixed percentage of the value of the asset as court fees for succession certificate. The   succession certificate cost is paid in the form of judicial stamp papers of the sufficient amount, after which the succession certificate is typed, attested and delivered to the petitioner.

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Succession certificate: Validity

Once a succession certificate is granted in India, it is valid anywhere in India. On the contrary, if a succession certificate has been given in a foreign nation by an Indian authority, the succession certificate will be valid in India if and only if it is stamped in lines with Court Fees Act, 1870.


Succession certificate Legal heir certificate
A succession certificate grants holder to do transactions on the deceased person’s behalf and use his property assets to clear any existing debts. As the name suggests, legal heir certificate identifies the person who is the legal heir of the deceased person.
Succession certificate mentions the relationship of the succession certificate petitioner along with the assets, debts and securities that the deceased person owned Legal heir certificate includes the legal inheritors of the deceased person.
Succession certificate need not mean that the petitioner is the beneficiary of the deceased’s wealth. Legal heir certificate means the legal heir/legal heirs  are the beneficiaries of the deceased’s wealth.
Succession certificate can include only movable properties. All kinds of properties can be listed in legal heir certificate.
Issued by district court judge, a succession certificate takes around 45 days before being granted Issued by the municipality or the Tehsildars, legal heir certificate is granted within 20 days.

If a family member passes away, then, the next legal heir who is directly related to the deceased, such as his/her husband, wife, son, daughter, or mother, is eligible to apply for the succession certificate. This certificate can be used to transfer the telephone connection, electricity connection, house tax, filing of IT returns, etc. For transferring property and claiming insurance, one needs to get a legal heirship certificate from the court for which the legal heir certificate cost should be paid. The legal heir certificate is also called legal heirship certificate or surviving member certificate.

Also read all about the property rights of a Hindu daughter under the Hindu Succession Act 2005

Succession certificate: Can it be revoked?

As per Section 383 of the Indian Succession Act, a succession certificate can be revoked under the following circumstances:

  • Process of obtaining the succession certificate was defective.
  • If the succession certificate was obtained fraudulently.
  • If the succession certificate becomes useless and inoperative due to circumstances.
  • Decree or order of other competent courts in dealing with the debts and securities of the same deceased person, renders it proper that the succession certificate is revoked.
  • If the claim of succession made by the succession certificate petitioner on investigation proves to be wrong.

Also, a succession certificate petitioner may appeal to the appropriate high court against the revocation order.


How long does it take to get a succession certificate?

It takes around five to seven months to obtain a succession certificate.

Can a succession certificate be challenged?

The succession certificate can be challenged only when the application is filed in the court. The court issues notices to all the legal heirs and close relatives to submit their objections.

What is proof of succession?

A succession certificate acts as proof of succession. It is issued to the legal heirs of a deceased person by a civil court, certifying a person to be the successor of the deceased.

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Category: Must Knows

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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