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Succession Certificate: Detailed Procedure, Fees, and Documents Required


Updated on May 14, 2022 01:01:19 PM

“Death is not painful for the person who dies. But the people who are left behind, who were really close to that person, it is immensely painful for them ”.

On that note, the past can’t be changed but we always need to look at the future. And while moving on, if you face problems with the transfer of property, payment of debts and security on the behalf of a deceased person, collecting debts or security on the behalf of a deceased person then you need to understand the term Succession Certificate first.
You may wonder, ‘ What is a Succession Certificate?’, Who needs it?’ and other relatable questions revolving around this.

So let us help you with understanding the concept first, and then we will guide you with its process and documentation for its issuance.


  1. Succession Certificate
  2. Documents Required for Succession Certificate.
  3. Succession Certificate Fees.
  4. Procedure for Filing Petition of Succession Certificate.
  5. Difference Between Legal Heir and Succession Certificate.
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
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Succession Certificate



A Succession Certificate is a document that is needed in case when a person dies without leaving a will. It gives the authority of collecting debts and securities to the one who possesses it. A document through which the disposition of the deceased’s property is made is called a succession certificate.

Generally, Succession Certificate is a key in absence of the will to transfer or inherit all the assets of the deceased one. If a person dies without leaving a will, a succession certificate can be granted by the court to realise the debts and securities of the deceased. It establishes the authenticity of the heirs and gives them the authority to have securities and other assets transferred in their names as well as inherit debts. A succession certificate is issued by a civil court to the legal heirs of a deceased person.

So your first query is resolved by familiarising yourself with the term. Now we can move a bit deeper into understanding governing laws, competent jurisdiction, and other important details that will help us later in the process.

Where to file a petition?

As per Section 371 of the Indian Succession Act, the petition for a Succession Certificate can be filed at the District Court in whose jurisdiction the deceased resided. However, in case of no fixed place of residence, the petition can be filed in the district court of the location where any of the deceased property is found.

How long a Succession Certificate can take?

Generally, a Succession Certificate can take up to 5-7 months for issuance. This is the minimum time period one can expect if only no one raised any objection within 45 days of publication in the newspaper.

In the case of a succession certificate, a newspaper notice for 45 days is issued by the court.

What are the laws with regard to Succession Certificates in India?

Indian Succession Act, 1925 majorly governs all the rights and legalities of the Succession Certificate in India. Some of their sections are as follows. Just take a glance, as you don’t need to remember them because we are there to help you with all processes and procedures dealing with the Succession Certificate.

  • ⦿ Sec.371 deals with the jurisdiction of the Court to grant the certificate.
  • ⦿ Sec.372 deals with Application for certificate.
  • ⦿ Sec.373 deals with the Procedure on application.
  • ⦿ Sec.374 deals with the Contents of the certificate.
  • ⦿ Sec.379 deals with the Mode of collecting Court-fees on certificates.

Documents Required for Succession Certificate



The process of applying for a succession certificate is quite lengthy. Lengthy in sense of the duration of issuance and complications it has.

However, this should indeed be needed as the legal heir and the complete inheritance of all the assets of the deceased depends on this. The documents that one should possess while filing a petition for Succession Certificate are as Essentials for filing a petition for Succession Certificate.

  1. ⦿ Death certificate
  2. ⦿ Identity Card
  3. ⦿ Ration card
  4. ⦿ Written/prescribed application form
  5. ⦿ Proof of residence of the deceased person (Voter ID / DL / Bank Pass Book etc.)

Succession Certificate Fees



The fees for succession certificates vary according to the value of the asset the court is dealing with. The court levies a fixed percentage (2-3%) of the value of the securities/movable properties as a court fee for the purpose of issuance of the certificate, and the same is required to be paid at the time of issue of the Succession Certificate by the Court.

Procedure for Filing Petition of Succession Certificate



You have now understood all about Succession Certificates. You know about its definition, where you can file it, which law governs succession certificates in India, its fees, and what documents are needed to attach along with the petition. Now you just need a proper step-wise procedure for applying for a Succession Certificate.

However, you already would have noticed its importance and how many complications it consists of. That’s why to ease your process we at LiteM provide you with experienced and qualified advocates to handle your case and provide you with your Succession Certificate with as much ease as possible.

Now for a clearer image of the whole process, you can have a look at its stepwise procedure for obtaining a Succession Certificate in India.

  • 1. Documentation (Essentials of the petition)
  • The foremost step while filing a petition is to know about the documentation it requires and have them with you. We already have discussed the documents you will need while filing the petition but in some specific cases of a spouse, minor child(under the age of 18), parents, some specific documents are needed additionally.
  • 2. Petition in Court
  • Now you have all the essentials with you so you need to file a petition for the succession certificate in the district court. If you don’t know about the petition then for understanding it is a formal written request made to an authority or organized body (such as a court). The petition should be duly signed and verified by you.
  • 3. Court fees
  • You need to first pay the court fees along with the petition for Succession Certificate and then your case will go to the District Court and the judge will decide a preliminary hearing of your case first.
  • 4. Newspaper Notice
  • After your case reaches the district court, and the judge finds your petition to be valid then notice in the newspaper is published, informing about the petition for the succession certificate. Time duration of 45 days is allotted forthe succession everyone who finds the petition to be not appropriate for any particular reason.
  • 5. Issuance of succession certificate
  • If no one raises any objection then the court will approve your petition and the court passes the order in favor of the petitioner. The district court judge may also ask the applicant 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 misuse of such certificate.

Difference Between Legal Heir Certificate
and Succession Certificate



The most common confusion between the families of the deceased is in between the two terms related to the inheritance of the property and assets are the Legal Heir Certificate and the Succession Certificate. If we try to resolve these two for you in simpler words, then a legal heir certificate provides the information about the legal or actual heir of the property/asset whereas a Succession certificate establishes the validity and legality of the legal heir and gives authority related to assets and securities of the deceased person.

Here for a better understanding of the difference between Succession Certificate and Legal Heir, you can have a look at this table.

Legal Heir Certificate Succession Certificate
An application for the legal heir certificate can be made only by the spouse, children, parents, or siblings of the deceased. An application for the succession certificate may only be made by the legal heir .
The time period for issuing a legal heir certificate ranges from 15 to 20 days. Generally, the time period for obtaining a succession certificate takes nearly 5-7 months in case any objection is not raised regarding the legal heir.
A legal Heir Certificate is issued for the purpose of insurance, pension, retirement claims, and others. The Succession certificate is issued for the possession of property or possession of the security or paying or receiving the debts on behalf of the deceased.
To issue a legal heir certificate Rs.2 for a stamp and Rs. 20 for stamp paper for affidavit will be required. For the succession certificate, 2-3 percent of the total value of the property will be charged.

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Frequently Asked Questions



   Q1. What is a succession certificate?

   Q2. When a succession certificate is required?

   Q3. What are the fees for a succession certificate?

   Q4. Can succession certificates be challenged?

   Q5. What is the time limit to make claims by legal heirs?