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Succession Certificate Vs Legal Heir Certificate: What Is The Difference?

Succession and legal heir certificates are crucial documents for estate planning but have distinct purposes.

April 16, 2024
April 16, 2024
Succession Certificate and Legal Heir Certificate

Succession Certificate and Legal Heir Certificate

Both succession and legal heir certificates are essential documents used in estate planning. However, they are different from one another based on their purposes. If you are planning your estate, you must know where and how these documents are used to avoid problems later.

Here are the salient features of a succession and a legal heir certificate:

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Succession Certificate

A competent court issues a succession certificate to confirm an individual as the rightful successor to a deceased person. This certificate empowers the successor to collect debts and securities owed to the deceased. However, it does not confer ownership rights to the deceased’s property. In cases where the deceased did not leave a will, the successors can inherit the property. Conversely, if the deceased left a valid will, the executor assumes control of the entire estate, rendering a succession certificate unnecessary. The District Court in the deceased person’s area of jurisdiction is responsible for issuing such certificates.

Also Read: Does A Will Supersede Nomination?

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Legal Heir Certificate

A legal heir certificate is a document issued by government authorities to identify the rightful heirs of a deceased person, providing details such as their names, relationships, and shares. It serves as legal proof of their status and rights in matters like inheritance, property transfer, and financial transactions. The certificate is primarily used to facilitate the transfer of assets and properties to the rightful heirs. It is often required by banks, insurance companies, government agencies, and other institutions during estate settlements. It may also be necessary to claim pension benefits, access bank accounts, obtain property ownership, and execute other legal procedures related to the deceased person’s affairs.

Difference Between A Succession Certificate and A Legal Heir Certificate

Legal heir and succession certificates differ. If a family member dies, the next legal heir can apply for the succession certificate, which can be used for transferring electricity and telephone connections, house tax, bank accounts, and filing IT returns. If the deceased is a government servant, a legal heir certificate is issued for family pension approval, appointments, and property transfer, including movable and immovable assets.

 

Role: A succession certificate is required for inheriting immovable or movable property under various property laws in India, like the Hindu Succession Act and the Indian Succession Act. Understanding these issues is crucial for both categories.

 

Issuance: Legal heir certificates are issued by the district Tahsildar to identify the living heirs of a deceased person. On the other hand, succession certificates are issued by courts to legal heirs of a deceased person.


Documents:
To obtain a succession certificate, one will require documents like a death certificate with the time and place of death, names of the legal heirs, and relationships. Legal heir certificates require a death certificate, identity card, ration card, and family members’ names on a Rs 20 stamp paper affidavit.

Also Read: Why Is Nominee Important In Any Investment?

Importance: The succession certificate is crucial for property transfer, debt payment, or security collection on behalf of a deceased person. On the other hand, the legal heir certificate is used for gratuity, pension, insurance, provident fund, and retirement claims.

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