Succession Certificate: All You Need To Know

Published on 22 Feb 2017 by Team

A succession certificate is issued by a civil court to the legal heirs of a deceased person. When 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 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.

Effects of Succession Certificate 

A succession certificate, strictly speaking, does not affect the adjudication of title of the deceased far less than that of the holder as regards the debts and securities covered thereunder. Yet, simply to afford protection to the parties paying the debts, the grant of succession certificateis conclusive against the debtor. A succession certificate is an effect throughout the whole India as per Section 380 of The Indian Succession Act,1925. 

According to Sections 381 and 386 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, a succession certificate is conclusive as against the person/persons liable to whom full indemnity is afforded (make available) for payments made. But, despite the succession certificate is only conclusive of the representative title of the holder thereof as against the debtors, a suit of the declaration will not lie that the holder of the certificate is not the legal representative of the deceased. You can talk to the best documentation lawyers in India to get a succession certificate.

Requirements of Succession Certificate

The succession certificate affirms who the legal heirs of the deceased are and that there was no will. This may be enough for the legal heirs to administer and dispose of property, but isn’t the most pertinent document in case of properties. For this, it is possible that a letter of administration is necessary. A letter of administration is a document that explicitly grants a person the authority to administer the property of a person who has died intestate. The procedure to get this document is the same as the procedure for getting the succession certificate.

This certificate may not be necessary in case of moveable assets, because the bank will only ask for it in case another legal heir contests the nominees claim to the money. Alternately, it will be necessary if the matter goes to court. In case of immovable assets, however, a succession certificate would be necessary for the legal heirs to administer or sell the property, even if there is no other claim on it. A documentation advocate in India can guide you about the legal requirements to get a succession certificate in your State.

Succession Laws in India

According to the Indian Legal System, property devolves according to religious laws in case of Intestate death. Following are the instances where property devolves differently according to different religion and gender:

Hindu Male

  • First, the property will devolve upon relatives specified in Class I;
  • If there is no Class I heir, then upon Class II relatives;
  • In case there’s no Classs II heir, then upon agnates (those related to another wholly through males, whether by blood or adoption, are agnates) and;
  • If there is no agnate, then upon the cognates (related, by blood or adoption, but not wholly through males).

Female Hindu

  • First, the property will devolve upon sons and daughters (including the children of any predeceased son or daughter) and the husband in equal measure;
  • Secondly, upon the husband’s heirs;
  • If the husband has no heirs, then upon the parents;
  • Upon the heirs of the father;
  • Lastly, upon the heirs of the mother.

Islam (under Shariat)

The qazi (judge ruling according to Islamic religious law) takes the burial expenses and makes a list of the assets of the deceased that need to be distributed among wife and children.

Christians(under Indian Succession Act)

  • A third of the property shall go to the wife and the rest will be divided equally among children (including the children of any predeceased son or daughter);
  • If there is no wife, the property will be divided among the children;
  • If there are no children, the property is shared equally by the wife and the husband’s relatives.
  • Lastly, it will devolve upon the parents of the deceased;

How to apply for a Succession Certificate?

Section 372 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, provides for the procedure to obtain the succession certificate. 


A duly signed and verified application, as per the code of civil procedure 1908, must be made to the civil court or high court of competent jurisdiction. Top documentation lawyers in India can draft and file a petition for succession certificate on your behalf.


Details like petitioner’s name, the 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 has to be obtained have to mentioned in the petition.


According to Schedule II of The Court Fees Act, 1870, a certain amount is levied as court fee for this process. Stamp Duty may vary from state to state.


The court issues a newspaper notice for 45 days. Any person having a problem with it can file objections. If the court doesn’t receive any objection, it issues succession certificate.

Documents required for obtaining 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.

Legistify connects you with the best lawyers in India and top Chartered Accountants in India with simple telephonic conversation or email. Call us at 846-883-3013 or send us an email at [email protected] to get started.

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