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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.
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.
(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.
The below-mentioned documents are required to obtain:
The detailed procedure for the issue of succession certificates is enumerated below:
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
As per The Court Fees Act of 1870, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
According to Section 383 of the said Act, a succession certificate so issued may be revoked for the following reasons.
The situations wherein no succession certificate can be granted are provided below.
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