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Detailed Procedure for Issue of Succession Certificate

Shubhangi Jain

| Updated: Dec 21, 2022 | Category: Legal

Detailed Procedure for Issue of Succession Certificate

A succession certificate can be defined as a certificate issued by a competent court to the legal heirs of a deceased for the purpose of establishing the authenticity of the heirs and providing them with authority to inherit debts, securities and other assets of the deceased.

Usually, it is a solution in the absence of a will because in such cases, the certificate acts as the primary document with the help of which the legal heirs can claim the assets of a deceased relative.

However, most people face difficulties obtaining the succession certificate due to a lack of clarity about its procedure.

The present article shall focus on the detailed procedure of the Issue of Succession Certificate to facilitate the obtainment of the same seamlessly.

Which Authority issues the Succession Certificate?

The District Judge of the appropriate jurisdiction issues the succession certificate wherein the jurisdiction is decided based on the place of residence of the deceased person or where the assets are found; however, this applies only in cases where the place of residence of the deceased cannot be determined.

Who is Eligible for the Issue of the Succession Certificate?

(i) Person with a Sound Mind

(ii) Major person

(iii) Person having an interest in the estate of deceased

(iv) Secretary of state

(v)  Person having a beneficial interest in the debt or security of deceased person.

Documents Required to Obtain the Succession Certificate

The below-mentioned documents are required to obtain:

  • Death certificate
  • Pan Card of all the legal heirs.
  • Address Proof of all the legal heirs.
  • Prescribed application form by affixing a court fee stamp.

What is the procedure for the Issue of a Succession Certificate?

The detailed procedure for the issue of succession certificates is enumerated below:

Filing the Petition

The person intending to obtain a succession certificate must file a petition before the district court u/s 372 of the Indian Succession Act, which must be signed and verified by the applicant or someone on his/ her behalf in the prescribed manner of C.P.C in respect of signing and verification of a plaint by or on behalf of a plaintiff.

Particulars that must be mentioned in the petition are

(I) Date of death of deceased

(II) Place of residence of deceased

(III) Family of the Deceased and their respective place of residence 

(IV) Right of Petitioner – The petition must showcase some title or interest in the debt or security in respect of which they have applied for the succession certificate. If 2 or more persons have applied, the court shall decide who has the preferential claim.

(V) Absence of any impediment

(VI) Debts or security regarding which the certificate is applied for

(VII) NOC from the legal heirs

Submission of the Requisite Fees

As per The Court Fees Act of 1870[1], a specific percentage of the value of the estate is imposed by the court. This value has to be paid by the petitioner in judicial stamps. 

Publication of Notice in the Newspaper

The court shall examine the application, and upon being satisfied with the same, it shall publish a notice in the newspaper inviting objections or claims against the asset of the deceased (if any) within 45 days from the publication date. 

Grant of Succession Certificate

If the court does not receive any claims against the assets or any objections within the above-mentioned time limit, it shall proceed towards granting the certificate to the petitioner, provided that the claim’s authenticity is established. In the case of multiple petitioners, the court may issue a joint succession certificate; however, in the case of a single asset, only one certificate will be granted.

Signing the Indemnity Bond

In some cases, the court may ask the petitioner to sign an Indemnity bond to ensure that no losses occur due to the misuse of the granted succession certificate. Signing this bond might require the petitioner to provide security to the court. 

Validity of Succession Certificate

The certificate is valid throughout India. However, if a certificate is issued in a foreign country by an Indian representative (appointed by the union government) the certificate shall be considered valid only if the certificate is properly stamped as per prescribed rules.

Revocation of Succession Certificate

According to Section 383 of the said Act, a succession certificate so issued may be revoked for the following reasons.

  • Defective Process for obtaining the certificate
  • Fraudulent obtainment of a certificate
  • Owing to the circumstances, the certificate becomes inoperative or useless.  
  • A decree or order of another competent court in dealing with the debts and securities of the same deceased person renders it proper that the certificate is revoked.
  • Against an order of the District Judge, in the matter of grant, refusal or revocation of the certificate, a person may appeal to the appropriate High Court.

Restrictions on Issue of Succession Certificate

The situations wherein no succession certificate can be granted are provided below. 

  • When Sec- 370 (1) of the Indian Succession Act is applicable, the certificate shall not be issued under this Part regarding any security or debt to which a right is required by sec- 212 or 213 needs to be established by probate or letters of administration. 
  • If Section 212 of the Act is applicable, the right to any part of the deceased person’s property cannot be established in any Court without the grant of letters of administration by the jurisdictional court. 
  • When Section 213 of the Act applies, ie the Survival of powers on the death of one of several executors or administrators. If one or more of several administrators or executors die, all the powers of the office become vested in the survivors or survivors if there isn’t any direction to the contrary in the Will or grant of letters of administration.
  • Also, nothing can restrict persons of other religions, including Christians, from getting the succession certificate, and they can also benefit from such certification.

Effect of Succession Certificate

  • According to section 381 of the Act, The succession certificates provide protection to the parties paying debts. As per the provisions of this Part, the certificate of the District Judge shall, with respect to the debts and securities specified therein, be conclusive as against the persons owing such debts or liable on such securities and shall, notwithstanding any contravention of section 370, or other defects, afford full indemnity to all such persons as regards all payments made, or dealings had, in good faith in respect of such debts or securities to or with the person to whom the certificate was granted.
  • Sec- 376 of the Indian Succession act states that the District Judge has the power to extend the application of the holder of a certificate under this Part, and every such extension shall have the same effect as if the debt or security to which the certificate is extended had been originally specified therein.

Conclusion

The issue of a Succession certificate can become a complicated process without proper advice. Enterslice has a team of experienced lawyers to guide the clients in respect of the process and provide end-to-end assistance in obtaining the same at the earliest without any legal hurdles.

Read Our Article: Process of Transmission of Shares without Succession Certificate

Shubhangi Jain

Shubhangi has completed her B. A.LLB (H) with specialization in Business Laws from Amity University. She is particularly interested in legal research and writing and wishes to utilize her knowledge to create informative legal content. She has prior experience in corporate and criminal litigation and has great drafting skills. She has also published various research papers in reputed journals.

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