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Legal Heir Certificate – A Brief Overview

Akansha Gupta

| Updated: Sep 20, 2021 | Category: Legal

Legal Heir Certificate – A brief Overview

In the event of an unexpected death of a family member, a legal heir certificate should be secured in order to transfer the deceased’s assets to his/her legal heirs. It is an important document that establishes the link between both the deceased & his/her legal heirs. Once the death certificate has been received from the municipality/corporation, the heirs may apply for this certificate in order to assert their title to the dead person’s property and dues. Typically, attorneys assist in the drafting and registration of a certificate.

Who are considered as Legal Heirs?

The following individuals are regarded legal heirs and are eligible to receive a certificate in India:-

Who are considered as Legal Heirs?

Distinction between a Legal Heir and a Succession Certificate:-

A succession certificate[1] is not same as a legal heir certificate; succession certificates are typically granted by civil courts and need distinct processes to acquire. The major distinctions between these two certificates are mentioned below:-

  • The usage of this certificate is restricted to specific circumstances like collecting the deceased’s employment benefits, insurance claims, property registration, and so on.
  • A legal heir certificate is not conclusive proof under Indian succession law.
  • A succession certificate is required for the settlement of any property that is contested or is the subject of judicial litigation.


The following are the advantages:-

Advantages of Legal Heir Certificate

Legal Heir Certificate and its Usage:-

This certificate lists the lawful successors who can claim the dead person’s assets and properties. All eligible successors should have this certificate for establishing a claim to a deceased person’s property:-

  1. Making a claim on the deceased’s insurance.
  2. Approval and processing of the dead employee’s family pension.
  3. Transferring the deceased’s assets and possessions to his or her heirs.
  4. Receiving government payments like gratuity, provident fund, and so on.
  5. Receiving the deceased’s salary arrears
  6. Securing employment through compassionate appointments.
  7. To submit tax returns on the deceased’s behalf.

Process for obtaining a Legal Heir Certificate:-

To get a Certificate, complete the following steps:-

Process for obtaining a Legal Heir Certificate
  1. Proceed to the Taluk Office – The applicant must go to the Tehsildar’s or Taluk’s office. When he chooses to approach a lawyer from the District Civil Court, he has another choice.
  2. Obtain an Application Form – The applicant must get the application form from the relevant Tehsildar officer.
  3. Fill In The Details – The candidate must next fill out the application form with all of the relevant information. This application includes the names of all legal heirs, their connection to the dead, and the addresses of family members.
  4. Documents attachment – After all of the information is completed, the applicant must attach all of the required paperwork, such as the deceased person’s death certificate, to the application form. (A death certificate from the municipality/corporation office is required.)
  5. Affixing Stamp – The applicant must attach a Rs. 2 stamp or a self-declaration in the registration form.
  6. Submission of the Application form – Once this is completed, the applicant must present the application form to the authorised person at the Tehsildar office.
  7. Process of Verification – Following that, the application is reviewed by the Village Administrative Officer and the Revenue Inspector.
  8. Certificate Issuance – Following completion of all verification steps, the certificate would be issued by the relevant authorities, mentioning all of the deceased’s legitimate heirs. In general, it takes 30 days to get a Legal Heir Certificate, but if there is an unreasonable delay or the involved authorities refuse to reply, you must contact the Revenue Division Officer (RDO) or the sub collector.

Documents Necessary to Get a Legal Heir Certificate:-

The following documentation is necessary to acquire a certificate:-

  • Duly signed and filled application form
  • Copies of the applicant’s identity and address proofs. (voter id/Aadhar card/license/passport driver’s or any other government-issued identity card will work)
  • All candidates’ photographs
  • The deceased’s death certificate.
  • Proof of all legitimate heirs’ birth dates. (For example, birth certificate, school transfer/leaving certificate, PAN card, passport, etc. will be required)
  • A form of self-undertaking affidavit/self-declaration.
  • Proof of the deceased’s address. (any legitimate identity confirmation or telephone/mobile bill, gas bill, bank passbook with the deceased’s name & address)
  • A list of surviving members if there are more than 4.


According to the Constitution of India, in the event of a death of a person, a Legal Heir Certificate is a legal document which aids in establishing who is next of kin or who is the next legal heir. It includes information like the next of kin’s name, age, relationship to the dead and marital status.

Read our article:How to file an ITR of the Deceased?

Akansha Gupta

Akansha is a Delhi-based lawyer who is actively involved in publishing articles on a plethora of aspects of Indian and International laws. She holds Master in law (LL.M) focused on Business Laws from Amity University, Noida. Having expertise in the same, she has authored several publications on legal topics related to corporate, M&A and commercial laws.

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