Legal Heir Certificate: –
In case of the accidental demise of a family member, a legal heir certificate must be obtained to transfer the property of the deceased to his legal heirs. A legal heir certificate is a very important document to establish a
relationship between the deceased and the legal heirs. Once the death certificate is obtained from the municipality/corporation, it is necessary that the heirs apply for this legal heir certificate to claim their rights over the
deceased person’s assets and dues. Typically, attorneys help draft and register a legal heir certificate.
A legal successor certificate is different from a succession certificate, a succession certificate is usually issued by a civil court and there are different procedures for obtaining it. The major differences between these two
certificates are listed below:
- The use of a legal heir certificate is limited to certain cases, such as claiming employee benefits of the deceased, insurance claims, property registration, etc.
- A legal heir certificate is not conclusive proof under the law of succession in India.
- In relation to the disposal of any property under disputed or court litigation, a succession certificate is important.
The following persons are considered to be legal heirs and can claim a legal heir certificate under Indian law:
- Spouse of the deceased
- Children of the deceased (son/daughter)
- Deceased’s parents
- Brother of the deceased
Use of Legal Heir Certificate: –
As stated above, a legal heir certificate identifies the rightful heir, who can then claim the property/property of the deceased person. All eligible heirs should have this certificate to claim the deceased person’s property.
A legal successor certificate is required for the following purpose:
- To transfer the demoted person’s properties and property to his heirs.
- To claim insurance.
- For approving and processing the family pension of the deceased employee.
- To receive dues like provident fund, gratuity, etc. from the government.
- To receive salary arrears of deceased, state, or central government employee.
- To get employment on a compassionate appointment basis.
Generally, for the purchase or registration of any property, the buyer must request a legal heir certificate to ascertain the ownership of the property. There may be instances where there are several legal heirs to the ancestral
property and in such cases, it is necessary that all the legal heirs sign the deed giving their consent to avoid any lawsuits.
Procedure for obtaining Legal Heir Certificate: –
The legal heir certificate can be obtained from the area/taluk tahsildar, or from the corporation / municipal office of the concerned area and the district civil court. This certificate has the names of all the legal heirs of the
deceased person and is issued only after proper investigation.
The steps listed below include the process of obtaining a legal heir certificate:
- The legitimate heir of the deceased person should contact the appropriate officer in the relevant field.
With a signed application. This application should include the names of all legal heirs, their relationship with the deceased, and addresses of family members. The death certificate of the deceased person should also be attached. (Death
certificate should be obtained from Municipal / Corporation office).
- An affidavit has to be submitted on stamp paper.
- The Revenue Inspector / Administrative Officer conducts an inspection and completes the investigation.
- Once the investigation is successfully completed, the authorized officer issues a legal heir certificate.
The process of obtaining a legal heir certificate usually takes 30 days. If there is an unnecessary delay in obtaining this certificate or the officials concerned fail to respond, you should contact the Revenue Department Officer (RDO)
Format of Legal Heir Certificate: –
Legal Successor under Hindu Personal Law: –
Heir means any person, man or woman, who is entitled to succeed to the property of an inlet (a person dying without a will).
For a male Hindu, here is an explanation of who is the legal heir with their inheritance rights over the property.
- Son of preceding son
- Daughter of a preceding son
- Pre-deceased daughter’s son
- Daughter of a pre-deceased daughter
- Widow of the son of a deceased
- Son of deceased’s former son
- Daughter of the son of a pre-deceased
- Widow of the pre-deceased son of ex-deceased.
The inheritance of the property shall be to the exclusion of the same and all other heirs.
Who can obtain a legal heir certificate if there is no surviving heir from the above list?
In such situations, the legal heirs are listed in the second category of the Hindu Succession Act. If there is no heir of class I, the property goes to the heirs, as relatives specified in class II of the Schedule to the Indian
Succession Act. Heirs under the second category are
Category II: –
Son’s daughter’s son,
Son’s daughter’s daughter,
Daughter’s son’s son,
Daughter’s son’s daughter,
Daughter’s daughter’s son,
Daughter’s father’s daughter.
The rule for succession is, those in the first entry in the second category will be referred to the second entry, those in the second entry will be preferred to the third entry, and will therefore be shared equally in succession and in
The Legal Heir of a female Hindu: –
Here is a list of legal heirs of a female Hindu under the succession law. A woman will destroy the property of a Hindu dying,
- First, on sons and daughters (including children of any preceding son or daughter) and husband,
- Secondly, on the heirs of the husband,
- Third, on mother and father,
- Fourth, on the heirs of the father; And
- Finally, on the heirs of the mother.
- Any Hindu inherited property from his father or mother on the heir of the father, in the absence of any son or daughter of the deceased (including children of any pre-deceased son or daughter).
In the absence of any woman inheriting property from her husband or from her father-in-law, any son or daughter of the deceased (including children of any pre-deceased son or daughter) on the husband’s heirs.
Legal inheritance of Muslims under Sharia law in India: –
Following is the list of legal heirs, under Sharia law.
- Husband: Marriage should be legal. Not entitled to an unspecified or secret marriage
- Wife: Multiple wives are entitled. A divorced wife is also entitled but only when the idat is not fulfilled.
- Son: Step-sons, adopted sons, and illegitimate sons are not entitled.
- Daughters: Stepdaughters, adopted daughters or illegitimate daughters are not eligible.
- Grandson: Daughter’s sons are not entitled, but sons of sons are entitled
- Granddaughter: Daughters of daughters are not entitled, but daughters of daughters are entitled.
- Father: Not a stepfather or illegitimate father.
- Mother: Not a stepmother or illegitimate mother.
- Dada: Mother’s father is not entitled, but father’s father is entitled. Maternal grandmother: Father’s mother is entitled.
- Mother grandmother: Mother’s mother is entitled.
- Full Brothers: They are all brothers entitled who share the same father and mother with the deceased person.
- Full Sisters: All those sisters who share the same father and mother with the deceased person.
- Paternal Brother: All brothers who share the same father, but a different mother.
- Paternal Sisters: All those sisters who share the same father, but a different mother.
- Maternal Brothers: All brothers who share the same mother, but a different father.
- Maternal Sisters: All those sisters who share the same mother, but a different father.
- Complete Nephew: Brother’s son is entitled but sister’s son is not
- Paternal Nephuse: The paternal brother’s son is entitled but the paternal brother’s daughter is not.
- Son of full brother’s son.
- Paternal brother’s son’s son
- Father’s full brother
- Father’s paternal brother
- Father’s brother’s son
- Father’s paternal brother’s son
- Father’s brother’s son
- Father’s brother’s son’s son
- Father’s son of full brother’s son.
- Son of father’s father’s brother’s son
Who is the legal heir under Christian law?
For example, under section 32 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, a Christian legal heir is a wife, a husband, or a family of the deceased.
Direct bloodline, as between a son and his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and so on indirect bloodline; Or between a son and his son, in receding blood, grandson, great-grandson and so on.
- If a person has died and is left with only a great-grandfather, an uncle, and a nephew, but no person with direct kinship will take the same shares under the 3% kinship.
Who is the legal heir under Parsi law?
Under Section 54 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, a legal heir under Parsi personal laws are as follows:
- Both mother and father
- Both are sisters and brothers (except step sisters and brothers) as well as their descendants.
- Both paternal and maternal grandparents.
- Children and their descendants of both Nana and Nana.
- Motherhood and parents of paternal grandparents.
- Children of parents and their descendants of maternal and paternal grandparents.
- Both mother and father
- Both sisters and brothers (other than step sisters and brothers) and their descendants are descendants.
- Both grandparents and grandparents
- Children and their descendants of both Nana Nani and grandparents.
- Grandparents and maternal grandparents of both mother and father
- Both are maternal and paternal (children of parents or grandparents) and their descendants.
- Stepsisters and brothers and their descendants.
- Widows of sisters and/or stepsisters and widows of brothers and/or half brothers.
- Widows or widows of deceased descendants who did not remarry.
- His granddaughters/grandchildren and grandchildren, his descendants, and his widows or widows.
Can a child born in a live-in relationship be a legal heir in India?
In a landmark judgment in 2008, the Supreme Court of India in Vidyadhari v / s Sukharana Bai gave inheritance rights to children born in a live-in relationship and thus gave them the status of “legal heirs”.
Documents Required: –
To obtain a legal heir certificate, the following is a list of the required documents:
- Application signed
- Identity / Address proof of the applicant
- Death certificate of the deceased
- Date of birth proof of all legal heirs
- A self-undertaking affidavit
- Address proof of the deceased
- The identity proof of the applicant can be a voter ID card, an Aadhaar card driving license, passport, or any other government-issued ID.
- Address proof of legal heir can be any valid identity proof or telephone / mobile bill, gas bill, bank pass-book with name and address of legal heir.
- The date of birth proof of legal heir can be a birth certificate, school transfer / leaving certificate, PAN card, passport, etc.
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