Succession Certificate for NRI | Step by step process

Succession Certificate NRI: Introduction

There are many struggling situations for NRIs when they have to access their inherited property. Or assets that are present in India. As they are not aware of the Indian laws and regulation, most of the times they don’t even possess the required documents at the time of accession.  Succession Certificate NRI is one such important document.

The Indian Government has mandated the possession of a succession certificate so that appropriate heirs can easily claim their assets. These assets are movable and can be in the form of funds on the bank account, equities, etc.

The civil courts whidh grant the issuance of succession certificate, comes under the Indian Succession Act, 1925. Under this provision, the successor of a deceased person who has left behind debts or equities is availed with the certificate. Therefore, it helps in establishing the rightful owner and provides a certain authority over the deceased person’s debts and securities.

Succession certificate NRI

Succession Certificate and Letter of Administration

A Succession Certificate for NRI gives an entitlement to transfer the debts and securities to the holder of the certificate. In other words, having this certificate would automatically establish the rightful owner of the assets. Therefore, many individuals or organizations make sure to attain this certificate before settling debts and securities of the departed individual.

One has to avail a Letter of Administration in a situation when an executor himself has been deceased before administration of the estate. This happens after or before one has proven the will, an executor denies taking the responsibility or when deceased has not appointed an executor at all, in the will. In these cases one has to set out a letter to administration for the sole purpose to convey the appropriate individual to take charge of the duties and responsibilities of the deceased.

Moreover, the basic difference between a succession certificate and the letter of administration is that a succession certificate is only issued at the time to handle the debts and securities but the latter is issued by a whole estate like money and property.

Key Elements

When a person has died before/without making a valid will, then the legal term “Intestate” is used. Intestate may involve a full or the partial assets. A full intestate can exist in a situation wherein the deceased hasn’t assigned any beneficiary. 

Therefore, since the will is not made so the successor will be responsible to handle the entire or full assets. A partial intestate can be achieved in a situation wherein there is a presence of a will but the deceased has disposed only certain or specific the assets.

Also, if there is a situation in which the deceased has left a will and bequeathed his assets for illegal purposes, then under legal provisions he has died intestate.

Importance of Succession Certificate

A succession certificate is issued to protect the rights of individuals who are paying debts under certainty. Also, the successor of the deceased will be nonetheless obliged with the securities and can even transfer them to anyone as it will be legally valid. 

Importance of SC

Necessary information while filing

In order to obtain a succession certificate, the below mentioned points should be attended to while filing a petition:

This certificate is granted by the District Judge or in the High Court falling under the qualified jurisdiction. A qualified or competent jurisdiction is that particular district in which the deceased resided at the time of his death. If there is an unavailability of such a place then the consideration of the jurisdiction is towards the location of the assets.

The petition should be in the form of an affidavit from the Class I legal heir. Or it can be from the successor of the deceased person only and no other relative. 

It is important to note that all the information that are mentioned below should be attested and presented to the Judge:
  1. Photocopy of the death certificate of the deceased with details like time of death, ordinary residence before death or address of the location where he passed away 
  2. A No Objection Certificate from legal heirs other than the petitioner (if any)
  3. Details about the family members or other near relatives alongside individual addresses
  4. Right of the applicant’s claim toward the assets
  5. Details about the debts and securities of the deceased 
  6. It is important to address that the certificate will be granted efficiently. If there is an absence of any grounds which may lead to revoking of the grant.

Procedure for obtaining the certificate

  1. Submit all the necessary documents to the authorities and pay the court fees as well. 
  2. The District Judge will check the authenticity of the documents and shown in order to accept the application. Afterwards there will be a date for the next hearing for all the concerned parties to appear in the court. 
  3. The judge assesses the pleas and decides to grant the certificate.
  4. As a caution, the Judge assigns the applicant to grant a bond with one or more sureties or any other security in case the certificate is has been in usage of ill intentions.
  5. In the final stage, the Judge gives the order in the form of a document stating the details like dividend, interest, negotiation or transfer or both that will be provided to the applicant based on the debts and securities mentioned in the application.

Also, there might be cases where the court has issued more than one legal heir. So, the court will provide a joint certificate.

Difference between Succession Certificate NRI and the Legal Heir Certificate

  1. Application: The application of a succession certificate is done for the purpose to attain the debts and securities of the deceased one when a will hasn’t been made whereas the legal heir certificate is applicable just to claim as the rightful Class I heir of the estate.
  2. Subject Matter: Under succession certificate NRI there is a defined relationship between the deceased to the applicant along with the matters of debts and securities. On the contrary, the legal heir certificate contains the details of all the legal heirs only. 
  3. Purpose: Succession certificate us used to state an authority to the rightful owner and provide and protect the right of the individual who is paying debt. The latter’s main purpose is to identify all the potential legal heirs.
  4. Effect: The holder of the succession certificate might not be the beneficiary of the estate and on the other hand the legal heir is necessarily entitled to inherit the estate. 
Flow chart- Succession certificate nri

Succession Certificate Format


Petition No. xx of 20xx

Date of Institution: xx/xx/xxxx

Date of Decision: xx/xx/xxxx

Mr. A, son of Mr. P R/o Bangalore



Mr. X

Mr. Y, son/wife

of Mr. Z, resident of Bangalore





Mr. A, son of Mr. P R/o Bangalore

WHEREAS, you applied on xx day of xx for a Certificate under Section 372 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, in respect of 100 debentures of PQR Ltd. having nos. xx to xx owned by Mr. P, resident of Bangalore, who was employee of PQR Ltd. having employee no. xxxxxx from the head office situated at Bangalore, Karnataka.

This certificate is accordingly granted to you and empowers you to collect those debts.

Given under my hand the seal of court on this xx day of xx

Mr. J Judge (xx Division)


FAQ’s for Succession Certificate

What is the validity of the succession certificate?

The succession certificate is valid throughout the Indian territory but for an NRI to make it valid, it has to be duly stamped from the Indian representative authorities of the foreign country. Hence, for an NRI it will be hold validity under the Indian Legal System and can be presented at the required time.

Who can apply? 

An adult person who is the relative of the deceased and is of sound mind can apply for the certificate. It should also be essential that the person should be interested and apply for the certificate voluntarily with full awareness about the assets. Although the applicant cannot be a minor but at the same time, it can be issued to a minor child. 

What are the circumstances under which the process can be delayed?

In some cases when all the debts and securities are not provided in the application then, the Judge grants an extension which will eventually delay the process. The court might delay the process a bit more if there are any objections raised by the concerning parties during the application process.

Also Read: Proclaimed Offender Order: All you need to know as an NRI

Also Read: Bail in 420 | All that an NRI needs to know | A-Z guide

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