How to Get Succession Certificate and Legal Heir Certificate?
Let us face the truth, the bitter truth. Someone dying is sad but someone dying without leaving a will is even more painful. Just anyone can face this problem. If a situation like that shows up, anyone can safely assume that there is a lot of running around to do. Now, in such situations people usually don’t know what to do. There are two things that can be done when the family’s head expires without leaving a will:
- One can apply for a legal heir certificate.
- One can apply for a succession certificate.
There is a difference between these two certificates. Why one to apply for? How to apply for these certificates? Let us first find out the procedure for getting succession certificate and legal heir certificate and then we can find out the differences between the two.
How to get legal heir certificate?
In case of unexpected and sudden death of family’s death, someone from the family can apply for a legal heir certificate. That someone can be:
- Spouse of the deceased.
- Son of the deceased.
- Daughter of the deceased.
- Mother of the deceased (in case the deceased person’s mother is still alive).
- Father of the deceased (in case the deceased person’s father is still alive).
A legal heir certificate has limited uses and obtaining a legal heir certificate is not much of a trouble. A person who is applying for this certificate will have the following documents at disposal:
- Original death certificate of the deceased person.
- Identity card and ration card (only first page and last page Xerox copy).
- An affidavit on a stamp paper worth ₹ 20.
- Service record from the deceased person’s office.
In order to apply for a legal heir certificate, a person needs to get the form from the Taluk and fill it up properly. ₹ 2 fee stamp needs to be affixed on the application form and submitted along with the necessary documents. The form has to be submitted to Taluk’s Tehsildar.
Following the submission an enquiry will take place. Revenue Inspector as well as Village Administrative Officer will be conducting this inspection. Upon completion of a successful enquiry, the certificate of legal heirship will be issued to the applicant. From inspection to certificate issuance, the whole procedure takes at least 15 days. It may take up to 30 days to get the certificate.
How to get succession certificate?
A succession certificate is completely different from a legal heir certificate and the procedure for obtaining the same is also different. Let us take a look at the steps involved in getting a succession certificate.
- A person who wishes to get a legal certificate needs to file a petition with the civil court.
- Along with the petition, the following information needs to be provided:
- Death certificate copy of the deceased person.
- Name as well as relationship of the petitioner with the deceased person in question.
- Name of all legal heirs of the deceased as well as their relationship with the person who died.
- Place of death, time of death and date of death of the deceased person are to be provided accurately.
- Once the petition is received by the civil court, a newspaper notice will be issued by the court. Anyone who sees the notice can challenge the petition. If a person wishes to challenge the petition, he or she will have 45 days to do so.
- In case no one challenges within a time frame of 45 days, the petitioner will then receive the succession certificate.
- However, once the offered period of 45 days is over without anyone contesting the petition, the succession certificate is not issued immediately. The court will usually take another 4.5 to 5.5 months and then issue the succession certificate.
- The court will levy a fee on the succession certificate. This is usually a certain percentage of the property value of the deceased person. The percentage is decided by the court. But it is usually 3%.
- Once the fee has been levied, the petitioner needs to pay the court. The payment however has to be done using judicial stamp papers of the total value of the fee amount.
- Once the payment is made, the court will have the succession certificate typed, stamped and signed. The final document will then be handed over to the petitioner.
- In addition to the court fee, the petitioner will also have to pay for the attorney fee.
Differences between legal heir certificate and succession certificate
Okay, now that we know how to get succession certificate and legal heir certificate, let us take a look at the key differences between the two:
|Parameters used for differentiation||Legal Heir Certificate||Succession Certificate|
|Who can apply for?||Son, daughter, spouse or parents of the deceased person||Only legal heirs of the deceased person|
|Who issues the certificate?||Government – especially the Tehsildar from the Taluk||Civil Court (sometimes it can be High Court)|
|Time required for issuance||15 to 30 days||6 to 7 months in total|
|Fee for issuance||₹ 2 Fee Stamp and ₹ 20 stamp paper for affidavit||A certain percentage of the total value of the property, usually 3%|
|Any additional fee||Officials may ask for money but that will be an unofficial demand||Attorney fee as applicable|
|Anyone allowed to contest||No||Yes. Anyone can contest the petition within 45 days from date of submitting the same|
|Documents required to furnish||Death certificate of the person who died||Death certificate of the person who died|
|Ration Card||Names of all legal heirs|
|Identity Card||Relationship of all legal heirs with the deceased|
|Service record from deceased person’s office||Date of death, place of death and time of death of the deceased person|
|Uses of the certificate||Can be used for insurance claims||Used for transfer of property|
|Can be used for pension claims||Used for transfer of any possessions|
|Can be used for retirement benefit claims||Used for realizing securities and debts|
|Can be used for gratuity and PF claims||Used for collecting or paying debts or securities on behalf of the deceased.|
Please note that the methods for obtaining succession certificate and legal heir certificate as mentioned above are only a summary. Some complications may arise during the processes. Since they are too broad to cover here, we have deliberately omitted them. Also, in case of succession certificate, talk to your lawyer properly in order to understand the complete process in further details. Under no circumstances should this write up be considered as final. This website will not be responsible for any problems or losses caused because of information made available here. This article is for educational purpose only.