certificate in the absence of a will: how to obtain a certificate of legal heir or a certificate of surviving member in the event of death without a will

If a person dies intestate, i.e. without a will, their legal heirs will need to obtain a legal heir certificate or a surviving member certificate from the authorities to prove that they are indeed the legal heirs of the deceased person . Either of these certificates will help the legal heirs to transfer the assets of the deceased person such as property, money in the bank account, term deposits, mutual funds, etc. in their name.

Meghna Mishra, Partner, Karanjawala & Co, a law firm, says: “From a legal point of view, the legal heir certificate and the surviving member certificate are identical and are used for essentially the same purpose, c ‘that is, to establish the relationship between deceased and legal heirs and for the transfer of assets.’

Here’s how you can apply for a legal heir certificate or a surviving member certificate.

Where to Apply for a Certificate of Legal Heir/Surviving Member Certificate

A legal heir can request either of these certificates. A certificate of legal heir can be obtained from a district court, while an application for a certificate of surviving member must be submitted to the district magistrate’s office. However, Mishra says it is faster to obtain a certificate of surviving member from the district magistrate’s office than to apply for a certificate of legal heir from a district court. “Indeed, obtaining a legal inheritance certificate from the district court can be a lengthy process compared to obtaining a surviving member certificate from the district magistrate’s office,” it adds. -she.

Some states also allow surviving member certificates to be applied for online. For example, in Delhi, the application can be submitted through https://edistrict.delhigovt.nic.in. Keep in mind that once the online application is submitted, you will need to go to the district magistrate’s office for verification and physical submission of documents.

What documents are required to apply for a certificate of legal heir/certificate of surviving member?

The documents required to apply for a legal heir certificate or a surviving member certificate are the same. In addition to a completed application form (available from the district magistrate’s office/court), a legal heir is required to submit the following documents:

  • Copy of ID such as PAN etc. and proof of address such as Aadhaar etc. of all legal heirs
  • Original death certificate of the deceased issued by the local agency
  • Copy of an identity document and proof of address of the deceased person
  • In the case of a certificate of legal heir, a person is required to submit an Affidavit of Commitment from the applicant and all surviving family members.

Copies of proof of identity and proof of address submitted must be witnessed by the applicant, i.e. the person applying for the certificate on behalf of all legal heirs.

How long does it take for the application for a legal heir certificate/surviving member certificate to be processed?

Mishra says, “Normally it takes 1-2 months to get a legal heir certificate/surviving member certificate.” Once the application is submitted with the physical documents, an official from the court/district magistrate’s office will visit the address of the legal heir (who submitted the application) for verification. Additionally, you will need two neighbors as witnesses along with their ID and proof of address for verification purposes. The official may request copies of the witnesses’ identity documents and proof of address. At the time of verification, the official will bring the documents that you have physically submitted; so you don’t need to keep any documents handy.

How can individuals obtain a Certificate of Legal Heir/Surviving Member Certificate once issued?

The certificate can be obtained from the authority where the application was submitted or it can be downloaded from the online portal. An email/SMS can be sent to your email address/mobile number informing you that the certificate is ready provided that the email id/mobile number is mentioned in the application form.

What are the fees for obtaining a legal heir certificate/surviving member certificate?

There is no charge to obtain a Certificate of Legal Heir/Certificate of Surviving Member. However, an applicant may have to spend money to prepare documents such as affidavit, get documents notarized, if necessary, etc.

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