A succession certificate is a document that specifies who the successor of a deceased individual will be if he or she has not created a will for themselves. To prove that the successor of a deceased person is who they claim to be, succession certificates are presented to successors who have not prepared a will.
It is also important to note that a succession certificate gives the holder authority over any debt or securities of the deceased individual. This person can also take care of the payment of debts of the deceased, as well as the transfer of the securities that had been owned by the deceased.
How to obtain a succession certificate?
- 1 How to obtain a succession certificate?
- 2 Where to get a succession certificate?
- 3 Details of the Succession Certificate
- 4 Succession Certificate Validity
- 5 Succession Certificate Effects
As a rule, the succession certificate is issued by the district judge in the jurisdiction where the succession occurs. The applicant needs to prepare a petition and present it to the relevant district court to receive the succession certificate online.
A petition for a succession certificate format would generally be filed with the district court where the deceased person ordinarily resided at the time of his death since this particular district court has jurisdiction over the petition. When no such place is available, then the relevant place to look for property belonging to the deceased would be the jurisdiction in which it might be found.
Where to get a succession certificate?
Below is a summary of the legal steps involved in obtaining the succession certificate.
Step 1: Drafting the petition
A petition will be prepared, verified, and signed by the applicant and it will be submitted to the district judge in the relevant jurisdiction after the applicant has paid the appropriate fee.
Step 2: Court submission
A preliminary hearing will be conducted by the district judge on the petition submitted by the applicant/petitioner, and if the petition is admitted, it will be decided upon a date for the final hearing and notice will be sent to all interested parties.
Step 3: Issuing the certificate
In this case, the judge will listen to all parties concerned and decide if the applicant is within his rights to apply for a succession certificate. If the applicant is satisfied, the succession certificate petition format will be granted to him.
Step 4: Submit Bond
Furthermore, the district judge may also require the applicant to submit a bond with one or more sureties or any other security to safeguard against any loss that might occur out of the use or misuse of the certificate.
Details of the Succession Certificate
The applicant must sign and date the petition for the succession certificate which is made to the district judge and include the following details in the petition:
- In this case, the time at which the deceased passed away is important to know.
- A copy of the service of the notice of death and the ordinary residence of the deceased, and if the ordinary residence is unavailable, the details of the property within the jurisdiction of the district court to whom such a notice is sent.
- The family or other close relatives of a deceased person, as well as their respective residences, are to be kept in mind.
- A petitioner’s right (applicant’s right) is determined by the law.
- An invalid certificate isn’t invalid because there is no reason to invalidate it.
- This certificate is required for the debts and securities for which the application for the certificate is made.
Succession Certificate Validity
There is no limit to how many succession certificates may be issued in India. It should be noted that when a certificate is issued in a foreign country, by an Indian representative (as appointed by the Indian government) accredited to that state, that certificate will only be valid in India if it has been properly stamped by the Court Fees Act, 1870, and will have the same effect as a certificate issued in India.
Succession Certificate Effects
The main purpose of this document is to protect all parties paying debts in good faith, where such payments are done in good faith. Similarly, the certificate holder becomes entitled to receive any interest/dividend on the securities discussed in the certificate, as well as to negotiate or transfer them. Hence, all funds provided to and received by the certificate holder on behalf of the deceased person will be legally valid.
This does not necessarily imply that the certificate holder is the owner of the securities or the legal heir to the securities. The legal heir or heirs are decided by a separate procedure of law based on the facts that have been established.
Compared to a Succession Certificate, a Legal Heirship Certificate
A succession certificate may be replaced by legal heirship certificates or death certificates as evidence of the authenticity of the heir. Such documents facilitate the transfer of assets since they are easier to acquire than succession certificates. A succession certificate establishes the authenticity of the heirs in addition to granting them the right to inherit debts and transfer assets. An heirship certificate determines the heirs of the deceased, but an heirship certificate identifies those heirs.
A legal heirship certificate may work better than a succession certificate in some cases since relatives can obtain it much faster if they have the appropriate documentation. Families prefer to receive the heirship certificate through the court rather than wait to receive the succession certificate for the immovable property through the court. As a result, if a legal heirship certificate is not accepted, then they have to apply for succession documents. Although one can obtain heirship certificates from the talukdar of a tahsil of the talukdar of a taluk, these documentary documents are not conclusive and do not work in every circumstance. It should be noted that in the case of a dispute between family members as to which relative is the rightful heir, a court order has to be obtained before such a certificate can be issued.