What happens when the individual dies without preparing a Will i.e. INTESTATE? What measures can an heir take to obtain what is rightfully his? These situations raise a need for a solution which can assist in claiming everything that belongs to the heir of the deceased.

In this situation where a person expires without leaving a will (intestate), the legal successors of the deceased individual can register in the court for the issuance of ‘Succession Certificate.’

What is succession certificate

Succession Certificate is a document granted to the legal successors of the deceased individual by the court so that they can claim the immovable or movable property along with the debts left behind by the deceased.

The issuance of succession certificate is governed by The Indian Succession Act 1925. This certificate authorizes the successors to get assets/securities shifted in their names. Along with the assets, the successor has to take liability and responsibility for clearing any security or debts attached to the property.


How to get a succession certificate

To get the succession certificate, the successor has to file a petition in the court of law. The petition should be filed with the competent jurisdiction where the property of the deceased person is located, or the dead individual resided.

In the petition the specific petitioner has to specify:-

  • His/ her name
  • The time, date and place of death
  • Relationship with the deceased individual
  • Names of all heirs of the deceased individual and attach the death certificate of the same.
  • The right in which the petitioner claims i.e. the debts and securities in respect of which the certificate is applied for.
  • Later filing the petition with the court, a notice is published in the newspaper. The notice specifies the period in which if any individual has any objection he can do so if there is nothing the court issues the Succession certificate to the petitioner.
  • It takes 6 – 8 months from the date of filing the petition to obtain the Succession Certificate. The District Court and the High Court both have jurisdiction in the situation of issuance of the certificate.
  • To claim what is truly yours is not wrong but occasionally it’s difficult to do so. Often and many times an NRI citizen who knows all the details of the property that in a way belongs to him in a situation where due to the lack of Will, claiming the same property becomes hard to achieve.
  • In such a case if the NRI takes appropriate advice and consults with the suitable property management lawyers before taking an important step, claiming what is rightfully his/hers becomes easy. Prevention is better than cure!


According to Schedule II of The Court Fees Act, 1870, a limited amount is levied as court fee for this process. Stamp Duty may vary from state to state

While applying for such a document, the following information is required:

  • Place of residence of the deceased individual or if such residence is not within the power of the district judge then, any different property of the same person falling under the range of the district judge to whom the request is made.
  • The time of the death of the deceased, or the Death Certificate as proof.
  • The details of the family and other relations of the deceased and their residential addresses.
  • Sufficient evidence that there is no dispute to his claim as a successor and the said asset doesn’t fall under the restrictive cases
  • Proof of what rights or what capacity he should be nominated as the successor of the departed.
  • Full details of any debt or security attached