Succession Certificate

What is a succession certificate?

A succession certificate is a document issued by the civil courts that grants authority to the heirs of a deceased person to claim their property and assets. This is usually required when a person dies without a will. Unlike a legal heir certificate, a succession certificate holds more legal weight in big financial matters like property.

When is a succession certificate needed?

  1. Dispute Resolution: In case the heirs are unable to amicably distribute the assets and property among themselves in the absence of a will, they may apply for a succession certificate. This allows them to seek the court’s judgment and have the civil court decide how the property should be divided among all the heirs.
  2. Financial Matters: While a legal heir certificate can also be used to deal with debts, many financial institutions may require a succession certificate to approve the transfer of property to cover the debt. Sometimes, authorities take discretion on whether they want to accept a legal heir certificate or a succession certificate.
  3. Preference in Legal Validity: In various legal transactions, governmental bodies, financial institutions, or other entities might prefer a succession certificate due to its higher legal validity compared to a legal heir certificate. It is often preferred to ensure a more secure and undisputed transfer of property or assets, especially in complex financial dealings or larger transactions.

Process for Obtaining a Succession Certificate

STEP 1: Fill in the application form provided by the civil court that has jurisdiction over the area where the deceased person lived for a succession certificate.

STEP 3: Along with the application form submit the following document.

  • Death Certificate
  • Proof of Relationship (Aadhar Card, Marriage Certificate, Adoption Certificate, etc)
  • Identity Proof of applicants
  • Affidavit of Self-Declaration by all Legal Heirs on ₹20 stamp.
  • 2 passport-size pictures of all applicants

STEP 4: The next step includes paying the fee at the court. The fee includes a court fee which is 2-3% of the total value of the deceased's property along with the fee for affidavits and stamp paper.

STEP 5: Submit the complete file for the verification process. This step includes a public notice from the court that invites objections or claims from others after which a judgment is passed issuing the succession certificate. All in all, the issuance of the certificate can take anywhere between a few months to a few years.

The difference between a legal heir certificate and a succession certificate are detailed below

Legal Heir CertificateSuccession Certificate
1.A certificate to only identify the rightful heirs and the successors of the deceased person’s assets.A certificate that grants the heir the permission to claim the assets, securities, and debts of the deceased.
2.It is issued by the revenue department of the area where the deceased person is fromIt is issued by the civil courts where it is important to prove a relationship between the heirs and the person deceased.
3.This certificate is sufficient to inherit bank deposits, pensions, and provident funds. Essentially it is required for the transfer of movable assets.This certificate is required for transferring debts and assets such as property, stock investments, etc. Essentially it is required for the transfer of movable and immovable assets.
4.The issuing process can take up to a few weeksThe issuing process can take up to a few months

Frequently Asked Questions

If the deceased used different variations of names across various IDs, their identity as the same person can be established by comparing the information on those IDs, such as the father's name, proof of birth, etc. Notarized affidavits from witnesses declaring that the person was one and the same can also be used in this case.