What is a Succession Certificate?

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A succession certificate is a document issued by a civil court to the legal heirs of deceased person certifying a rightful person to be the successor of such deceased person. Grant of such Certificate entitles the grantee thereof only to collect the debts and securities of the deceased in the hands of others and imposes an obligation on the grantee to thereafter distribute the same amongst the heirs of the deceased.

Objective of Succession Certificate

It authorises the successor to realise the debts and securities of the deceased person. Its main objective is to facilitate the collection of debts on succession and offer protection to the parties paying debts to the representatives of the deceased person.

Also Read: Surviving Memeber Certificate

What is the law governing grant of succession certificate?

Indian Succession Act, 1925 governs the procedure and lay down the mandatory
requirements for Succession Certificate.

Can a succession certificate be issued for immovable properties?

It cannot be obtained for the inheritance of immovable property. For a movable property like the provident fund, bank deposits, shares and loans, this is required. For an immovable property like land, a letter of administration must also be submitted.

Can a succession certificate be granted to a minor?

Yes, it can be granted to a minor through a guardian.

How to Obtain a Succession Certificate?

In order to obtain a Succession Certificate, petition under section 372 of the Indian
Succession Act is required to be filed in the Court of competent jurisdiction which can
be the place. The court in the district where the deceased person ordinarily resided has the jurisdiction to grant a it or the court within whose jurisdiction any property belonging to the deceased may be found.

Mandatory Details To Be Mentioned In a Petition:

The particulars to be specified in a petition for a succession certificate are specified under Indian Succession Act, and every application is required to be signed and verified in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure applicable to plaints.

Following information must be mentioned in the application:

  • The name and relationship of the person with the deceased requiring this certificate.
  • Names of all heirs and close relatives of the deceased,
  • Details about the time, date and place of death should be mentioned in the application.
  • Copy of the death certificate need to be filed along the application.
  • Details of the movable properties for which Certificate is sought.

Newspaper Publication informing the Public at large

Once the petition for issuance of a succession certificate is filed, the Court will issue notice to all the legal heirs and close relatives, so that anyone having any objection in grant of Succession Certificate in favour of Applicant can raise such objection.

Similarly, Publication of such notice is also ordered in newspaper to inform public at large about the petition for issuance of succession certificate. After newspaper publication court waits for 45 days before granting the Certificate.

If no one contests the application on the expiry of this period, the court passes an order for issuance of certificate and if any objection is raised, the Court will first decide the objections and then proceed further.

Court Fees

The court levies a fixed percentage of the value of the securities/movable properties as
court fee for purpose of issuance of the certificate and the same is required to be paid at the time of grant of  Certificate by Court.

Security from the person to whom it is granted

That the person to whom the Court proposes to grant the Succession Certificate shall give to the Judge a bond with one or more sureties, or other sufficient security, for rendering an account of debts and securities received by him and for indemnity of persons who may be entitled to the whole or any part of those debts and securities.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.