All about Succession Certificate
Do you know when “Succession Certificate” is required?
A person works hard throughout his life time to build his estate. He coins money, builds assets, and creates various movable and immovable properties. After his death, this estate is distributed among his legal heirs which is governed by Laws of Succession. Indian Succession Act, 1925 (“Act”) mainly outlines such distribution of estate as Testate Succession and Intestate Succession
In Testate Succession i.e, where a valid will exists for an estate at the time of a person’s death, estate is distributed in accordance with the “Will” of the deceased person. However, in case of Intestate Succession i.e where the Will does not exist, it is important to find the rightful heirs of the deceased person. Succession Certificate here helps in rightful successors of the estate.
Succession Certificate is a certificate granted by the court to the successors of the deceased person in absence of Will. It gives the certificate holder, the right to acquire the assets. However, As per Indian Law, it is also important to note that Succession certificate shall not be granted with respect to any debt or security in cases where a right to such property is required to be established by obtaining letters of administration or a probate.
It is also pertinent to note that, in case of transmission of shares to the legal heir of deceased shareholder also, the Succession Certificate is mandatory document for claiming those shares.
Who can apply for Succession Certificate?
Only legal heirs of the deceased person can apply for Succession Certificate
Competent Court to grant succession certificate
Section 371 of the Act, The District Judge within whose jurisdiction the deceased ordinarily resided at the time of his death, or if at that time he had no fixed place of residence, the District Judge, within whose jurisdiction, any part of the property of the deceased may be found, may grant Succession Certificate.
Information/Documents required for Succession Certificate
1. Date of death of deceased;
2. Time of death of deceased;
3. Place of residence of deceased;
4. Family of Deceased and their respective residences;
5. Right of Petitioner – The application must show some title or interest in the debt or security, in respect of which they has applied for the certificate. If two or more persons apply, the court must decide who has the preferential claim;
6. Absence of any impediment;
7. Copy of death certificate;
8. Debts or security in respect of which the certificate is applied for.
Procedure to apply for Succession Certificate
Application for succession certificate shall be made to the District Judge by a petition signed and verified by or on behalf of the applicant in the manner prescribed by the C.P.C for the signing and verification of a plaint by or on behalf of a plaintiff
If the District Judge is satisfied that there is ground for entertaining the application, he shall fix a day for the hearing and serve notice to the person who apply to the court for succession certificate
When Judge thinks fit after hearing of parties that the applicant is eligible for succession certificate than he make an order for the grant of succession certificate
When there are more than one applicants for a certificate, and it appears to the Judge that more than one of such applicants are interested in the estate of the deceased, the Judge may, in deciding to whom the certificate is to be granted, have regard to the extent of interest and the fitness in other respects of the applicants.