In case a person dies intestate his estate has to be managed by someone to inherit and it can be done only by inheriting the authority by court process for which a succession certificate can be issued by a civil court to the legal heirs of a deceased.
A Succession Certificate gives authority to a person who obtains it to represent the deceased for the purpose of collecting the debts and securities due to him. It meant for protection of debtors, so they know as to whom they can safely pay the debt due to deceased person. The certificate does not establish the title of the holder of the certificate as the heir of the deceased, but only furnishes him/her with an authority to collect the debts and allows the debtors to make payment without incurring any risk. A Succession Certificate, hence not granted in cases where obtaining a Probate of Letter of Administration considered necessary.
How to apply for Succession Certificate in India?
Succession Certificate is granted by Courts in India to the legal heirs of a person dying intestate leaving debts and securities. A person is said to have passed away intestate when he/she does not leave a legal Will. It entitles the holder to make payment of debt or transfer securities to the holder of certificate. The transfer of payment of debt or securities hence done without ascertaining the legal heir entitled to it. Succession certificate provides indemnity to all persons owing such debts or liable on such securities with regards to all payments made to or dealings had in good faith with a person to whom a certificate as granted. Hence, many organisation and person request for this certificate before settling the debts or securities of the deceased in favor of the person claiming such debts or securities. The following steps should be undertaken while applying for Succession Certificate:
- A duly signed and verified application should thus made to the civil court of competent jurisdiction.
- In the petition, details like petitioner’s name, name of legal heirs of deceased, relationship of the petitioner with deceased, right of petitioner, residences of relatives and family of deceased and details of death along with the death certificate debts and securities for which the succession certificate should then granted also have to mentioned.
According to Schedule II of The Court Fees Act, 1870, certain amount is levied as court fee for this process. Stamp Duty may vary from state to state.
A newspaper notice for 45 days thus issued by the court. However any person having problem with it can file objections. If the court doesn’t receive any objection, it issues the certificate. This process takes five to seven months.
Documents required for obtaining Succession Certificate
The list below consists of documents required for applying for the Succession Certificate:
(i) Death certificate
(ii) Pan Card of all the legal heirs .
(iii) Ration card of all the legal heirs.
(iv)-Prescribed application form by affixing a court fee stamp.
Restriction on Succession Certificate
A court can sometime require a bond with one or more surety or sureties or any other security for rendering an account of debts and securities received by the petitioner of succession certificate for indemnifying the persons who may entitled to any part of the debt or securities.
Validity of Succession Certificate
A succession certificate has validity throughout India. If a certificate should granted in a foreign country by an Indian representation accredited to that State, it should thus stamped in accordance with the Court Fees Act 1870 to have the same effect in India as a certificate granted in India.