Death is an inevitable truth. But what happens when a person dies without a will? How is his/her property passed on to the rightful owners or his/ her heirs? Will is a legal document that establishes the ownership rights of the heirs of the deceased. And in case of an intestate death, this role is completed by the Succession certificate. Succession certificate is a legal document obtained from the civil court that authorises the legal heirs of the deceased to have the property transferred to their names. It also makes them liable for any liabilities and impending duties that the deceased had to undertake. Succession certificate is issued for both the movable and the immovable property and is mandatory to stake claim over them.
Since the property is governed under the personal law in India, it varies for different religions. Thus, the issuing of succession certificate is also subject to the personal law applicable to different persons and the respective laws associated with them. It is often noticed that NRI face some real trouble in getting the property inherited transferred on their name, either because of their inability to visit the country at that moment or due to lack of proper guidance on how to proceed. Right guidance at the right moment can save a lot of time and efforts to protect their rights. Having our expertise in the property related matters, pertaining specifically to the NRI has enabled us resolve inheritance issues of our NRI clientele. While a will states the rights of the heirs, in case of intestate deaths, it is upto the heirs to prove their claim in the court to get the Succession Certificate. In case of more than one heir, the court will jointly grant the certificate to them.
In case of movable property, like FDs, bank deposits etc, if there is a nominee mentioned in the documents, the funds will be transferred to the nominee, even if he/she is not the legal heir. But in absence of any nominee or in case of dispute, banks ask for the Succession Certificate for the transfer of funds. How to obtain a Succession Certificate:
- The first step would be to apply for the Succession Certificate in the district court of the jurisdiction under which the deceased resided. If the property and the residence fall under the different jurisdiction, the beneficiary will have to simultaneously apply in the court under whose jurisdiction the property falls.
- For the application of Succession Certificate, the beneficiary needs to furnish the necessary details like name, relationship with the deceased, names of all the heirs, time, place and date of death. Apart from this information, the court would require the death certificate to carry on with the process.
- Once the application for Succession Certificate is filed with the district court, the court would issue a notice to all the concerned parties after examining the petition. At the same time, a public notice will also be published in the newspaper calling for any objection within a mentioned timeframe. If there is no objection raised within the stipulated timeframe, the court will issue the Succession Certificate to the applicant.
At NRI Legal Services, we offer a expert legal advice to the NRI to help them with their property related issues. We believe that the right guidance at the right time is the key to a happy life, and this fits perfectly with the legal matters.