Is a legal heir certificate necessary for selling a property?


Generally, for any property purchase or registration, the buyer should request for a legal heir certificate to ascertain the ownership of the property. There can be instances, where there are several legal heirs for an ancestral property and in such cases, it is required that all legal heirs sign on the deed of conveyance giving their approval to avoid any litigations.

Legal heir certificate is required for the following purpose
For transferring properties and assets of the demised person to his successors.
For claiming insurance.
For sanctioning and processing family pension of the deceased employee.
To receive dues such as provident fund, gratuity, etc. from the government
To receive salary arrears of the deceased, state or central government employee.
To gain employment based on compassionate appointments.

Legal Heir certificate can be obtained by approaching the area/taluk Thasildhar, or from the corporation/municipality office of the respective area, and from the district civil court. This certificate names all legal heirs of the deceased person and is issued only after a proper enquiry.

Documents Required For Obtaining a Legal Heir Certificate
In order to obtain a legal heir certificate, following is the list of documents required:

Signed application form.
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.

Reference: The Indian Succession Act, 1925 defines a succession certificate as a certificate issued by a court to the legal heirs of a deceased to establish the authenticity of the heirs and give them the authority to inherit debts, securities and other assets of the deceased. The purpose of a succession certificate is limited in respect of debts and securities such as provident fund, insurance, deposits in banks, shares, or any other security of the central government or the state government to which the deceased was entitled. Its main objective is to facilitate collection of debts on succession and afford protection to the parties paying debts to the representatives of the deceased person.

While the Indian Succession Act, 1925 does not prescribe a method for obtaining a legal heirship certificate, it can be easily issued by revenue officers such as tahsildars, revenue mandal officers or talukdars, in every taluk. A legal heirship certificate can be issued and relied upon for certain limited purposes only. Legal heirship certificates are not conclusive when it comes to determining the legitimate class of heirs of a deceased person under the laws of succession or the title of heirs to any disputed property that belonged to the deceased. In case of any disputes between the heirs of the deceased, the revenue officer cannot issue a legal heirship certificate and is required to direct the heirs to approach a civil court for determination of the rightful heirs.



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