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A succession certificate is issued by a civil court to the legal heirs of a deceased person. If a person dies without leaving a will, a succession certificate can be granted by the court to realise the debts and securities of the deceased. It establishes the authenticity of the heirs and gives them the authority to have securities and other assets transferred in their names as well as inherit debts. It is issued as per the applicable laws of inheritance on an application made by a beneficiary to a court of competent jurisdiction. A succession certificate is necessary, but not always sufficient, to release the assets of the deceased. For these, a death certificate, letter of administration and no-objection certificates will be needed.
Application: A petition needs to be filed with the district court or high court within whose jurisdiction the asset is located.
Details: The name and relationship of the petitioner, names of all heirs of the deceased, details about the time, date and place of death should be mentioned in the application. A copy of the death certificate has to be produced.
Process: The court typically issues a notice in the newspapers for a given period (generally 45 days). If no one contests the petition on the expiry of this period, the court passes an order for issuance of succession certificate.
Fees: The court levies a fixed percentage of the value of the estate as fee for issuance of the certificate.
Points to note
The court fee has to be paid in the form of judicial stamp papers of the required amount, after which the certificate is typed, duly signed and delivered.
In addition to the court fee, the lawyer’s fee also needs to be taken into account.
If the petition is not contested, the court usually issues a succession certificate in five to seven months.