Meaning of Succession Certificate:-
A succession certificate is a legal document given by a civil court to the heirs of a deceased person certifying a person to be the successor of such deceased person. The certificate authorises the successor to deliver the debts and securities of the deceased person. The certificate is not given in case of inheritance of immovable property.
A certificate is obtained in some cases where:-
a. Probate is not required. And also where there is no need for letters of administration.
b. When the deceased person is a Christian.
c. When the deceased person is a Mohammaden.
d. A deceased person who is a Hindu and has left a Will.
e. In case of the property of a joint family under Hindu law.
Procedure for Application:
An application must be made to the district judge within the jurisdiction where the deceased person used to reside at the time of his death and if the deceased had no fixed residence then the application must be made to the district judge within whose jurisdiction any part of the property of the deceased person is found.
A person who is of sound mind but not a minor and have an interest in the estate of the deceased person can make this application and a certificate can be given to a minor through a guardian.
The petition should contain the following particulars:
• It should contain the time of death of the deceased.
• Residence or description of the properties of the deceased person at the time of death.
• Description of family and other near relatives.
• Petitioner rights.
• Absence of any impediment to the grant of a succession certificate.
• Copy of the death certificate of the deceased.
• It should contain the debts and securities in respect of which the certificate is applied for.
The court after examining the application or petition issues a notice to the parties and mentions a time period within which any individual can raise objections regarding the application and if there are no objections then court orders to pass the succession certificate. If there is more than one petitioner then the court may jointly grant a certificate.
Effects of the Certificate:
The owner of the certificate has the right to:
• Claim the property and assets of the deceased.
• Has right to represent the deceased in collecting debts and securities due to the deceased.
• Has right to inherit the debts and other liabilities of the deceased.
The validity of the Certificate:
A succession certificate is valid or applicable throughout India.
A succession certificate gives authenticity to the successor and establishes who are legal heirs. The Indian Succession Act,1925 provides the procedures and mandatory provisions for succession certificate. The essential element of this certificate is to provide protection to all the parties paying debts.