A succession certificate is a document issued by the competent court (civil) on behalf of a deceased person, certifying that the deceased’s heir is the rightful heir. It is authorized through this document that the successor(s) of the deceased have the right to realize debts and securities of the dead. Issuance of a succession certificate does not grant a person the right of succession to the claimed property of a deceased person, because it does not determine what the dead person’s right, title, and interest are in a specific piece of property or to the entire property as a whole.
Nevertheless, the successor(s) of a deceased person who died intestate have a right to inherit the property of the dead person in the event that they are the legal heirs. In accordance with Section 370 of the Indian Succession Act, the entire estate of a deceased person that is covered by that will is vested on the executor of the will when the dead person left a validly executed will, and a Succession Certificate cannot be awarded in those cases. If an applicant for such a certificate is eligible, the District Court (Section 371 of the above-mentioned Act) within whose jurisdiction the deceased person usually lived is the competent court to issue the applicable certificate.
Getting a Succession Certificate
A certificate application must contain all the details of the deceased person, his other close relatives, information about the debts and securities for which the certificate is sought, as well as the rights under which the petitioner claims to obtain the certificate.
As a result of due process of law, the deceased person’s estate certificate is issued and the rightful successor becomes entitled to collect/realize the debts and securities of the deceased person. A creditor who holds securities and is liable to pay the debts of a deceased person is fully discharged from his/her obligations under the law if such debts and securities are duly paid to the successor(s) of the deceased person as is specified in the death certificate.
Renewal of Succession Certificate
There are several reasons why a certificate issued in accordance with Section 383 of the Act may be revoked, among them are:
- There were a number of defects in the process of obtaining the certificate.
- During the process of obtaining the certificate, fraud was committed.
- In some cases, certificates become useless and inoperative due to certain circumstances.
- It would be proper for the certificate to be revoked if an order or decree of another competent court dealing with the debts and securities of the same deceased person, should result in the revocation of the certificate.
- An individual who objects to a decision of a district judge, either with respect to the granting or refusal of a certificate, may appeal the matter to the appropriate High Court.
Regardless of where you are in India, the certificate is valid. Nevertheless, if the certificate is issued by an Indian resident appointed by the government to an individual who is a foreign resident, the certificate cannot be issued by the government. When that is the case, it is essential that the certificate is stamped on the property before it becomes valid.
Effect of Certificate
As a result of its main purpose, the Certificate serves to provide protection to all of the parties who are supposed to pay the debt. Similarly, the holder of the Certificate of Transfer has the power to receive interest or dividends on behalf of the deceased person. Also, the Holder has the option of negotiating or transferring the securities. So, any transaction made on behalf of the deceased by the Holder is recognized as a valid transaction by law. Nevertheless, the Certificate holder need not be the owner of the securities in order for the certificate to be valid.
There are certain documents that are mandatory, such as the Succession Certificate. But in many cases, this method does not suffice to release the assets. There are, however, many instances where the Legal Heirs are the ones who hold the certificate. Although it is not always the same, it is often a little different. Sometimes it is possible for people to make inappropriate gains by misusing the Succession Certificate for abnormal purposes. A provision for bonds has been introduced into the legislative frameworks in order to keep a check on such an instance in the future. It is possible for the court to order or ask the petitioner to submit a bond in response to the petition.