Succession Certificate is granted by the Civil courts in India to the successors of an individual who has died intestate leaving behind the debts and securities. Succession Certificate assists in establishing the credibility of the successors and also to provide the certificate holders an authority over the deceased person’s debts and securities.
Who issues a succession certificate?
The succession certificate is issued by the district judge of qualified jurisdiction. Competent jurisdiction refers to the district in which the deceased resided at the time of death. If no such place is available, then the place where the deceased may possess any asset is considered.
What information has to be submitted in a petition for obtaining a succession certificate?
The application is to be made to the District Judge with the following inclusions.
1. The time of the death of the deceased.
2. The address of the deceased at the time of death.
3. If no such address is available, the details of the property which is located in the jurisdiction of the district judge where the petition is filed.
4. Details of family members and near relatives along with their individual addresses.
5. The rights that the applicant claims to hold.
6. The absence of any reason which revokes the grant of the certificate.
7. The debts and the securities in respect of which the application is made.
What is the procedure for obtaining the certificate?
STEP 1: Submit the verified and signed the application to the District Judge, along with the court fees.
STEP 2: The District Judge will accept the application if he deems fit and set a date for the hearing and the same will be communicated with all the parties involved.
STEP 3: After the hearing, the Judge decides if the applicant is within his rights to apply for the certificate and grant the same if he/she is satisfied.
STEP 4: The Judge may also need the candidate to provide a bond with one or more sureties or any other security so as to make good any possible loss arising out of the use or the misuse of such certificate.
It is crucial to note that the Judge may grant an extension in respect of any debt or security not specified in the application.
What is the validity of the certificate?
The succession certificate is valid in the whole Indian Territory. If the certificate is granted to a foreign national by an Indian representative, it is exclusively valid if it is duly stamped.
Why is it essential to obtain a succession certificate?
A succession certificate grants protection to all the people paying debts and when such debts are made in sound faith. The certificate holder can get any interest or dividend on the securities. He/she can also transfer the said securities to anyone. All the payments made to and by the certificate holder on behalf of the deceased person will be legally valid.
However, this does not fundamentally mean that the certificate holder is the owner of the securities or the legal heir. The legal heirs are determined by a separate procedure of law.