Succession certificate is a legal document granted to the legal heirs of a person who has died intestate i.e. without a will. A succession certificate helps in establishing the legal heirs of a person and allot the debts and assets owned by the deceased. A court grants a legal heir certificate to the successors of the deceased and helps them in transferring the debts and securities of the deceased in their own name.
A legal heir certificate/succession certificate is granted by the court in accordance with the personal laws governing the deceased person and his/her legal heirs. The securities for which such certificate is required includes all kinds of stocks, debentures, bond, promissory note or shares. It is also pertinent to obtain a legal heir certificate to establish a relationship between the deceased and the claimants in case of pension, life insurance, etc. before different government authorities.
To obtain a succession/legal heir certificate, a succession certificate application is filed by the family lawyer with the District Court who has jurisdiction over the area where the deceased used to live at the time of his/her death, or where the property owned by the deceased is located. The legal heir certificate application must include details like the time of death of deceased, address of the deceased, details about the family or near relatives and the rights of the person on whose behalf the application has been filed.
If the district court is satisfied with the details of the application and the documents submitted along with it, the court grants a date of hearing. On the date of hearing, the court decides whether the person is a legal heir of the deceased and orders for the grant of succession certificate that lays down the debts and securities of the deceased.