Obtaining a Succession Certificate in India: A Guide for NRIs


Navigating legal matters, especially from a different country, can be daunting. For Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), obtaining a succession certificate—a crucial document for inheriting assets in India—requires understanding the legal procedures involved.

This article serves as a comprehensive guide for NRIs seeking to acquire a succession certificate.

Understanding the Succession Certificate:

A succession certificate is a legal document granted by a competent court that establishes the rightful heirs of a deceased person’s estate. It enables the heirs to claim assets, including bank deposits, stocks, and other investments, belonging to the deceased.

Key Steps for NRIs to Obtain a Succession Certificate:

  1. Initiating the Process: The first step for NRIs is to initiate the process of obtaining a succession certificate. This involves drafting a petition, which must be filed at the appropriate district court in India.
  2. Determining Jurisdiction: The jurisdiction for filing the petition is typically the deceased’s ordinary residence at the time of death. NRIs should ensure that the petition is filed in the correct court to avoid delays or complications.
  3. Drafting the Petition: The petition should include essential details such as the deceased’s name, date of death, details of the heirs, and a list of assets for which the succession certificate is required. It is advisable to seek legal assistance to draft a comprehensive and accurate petition.
  4. Submitting Required Documents: Along with the petition, NRIs must submit relevant documents, including the death certificate of the deceased, proof of relationship with the deceased, details of the assets, and any other documents required by the court.
  5. Verification Process: Once the petition is filed, the court will conduct a verification process to validate the claims made by the petitioner. This may involve issuing notices to other potential heirs or interested parties.
  6. Court Hearing: After the verification process, the court will schedule a hearing where the petitioner or their legal representative must appear. During the hearing, the court may seek additional information or clarification before issuing the succession certificate.
  7. Issuance of Succession Certificate: If the court is satisfied with the evidence presented, it will issue the succession certificate to the rightful heirs. The certificate typically contains details of the heirs and their respective shares in the deceased’s assets.

This article, while not specifically endorsing Legal Light Consulting, provides a general overview for NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) on acquiring a Succession Certificate in India.

What is a Succession Certificate?

A Succession Certificate verifies your legal claim to inherit the assets of a deceased person who died intestate (without a will). It empowers you to manage assets like bank accounts and securities on behalf of the estate.

Steps for NRIs to Obtain a Succession Certificate

  1. Identify the Jurisdiction: Determine the district court with jurisdiction over the case. This is typically the court located where the deceased resided at the time of death.

  2. Prepare the Petition: Draft a petition for the Succession Certificate. The petition should outline your relationship to the deceased and explain why you require the certificate.

  3. Gather Required Documents: Collect necessary documents such as:

    • Original Death Certificate of the deceased
    • Proof of your relationship to the deceased (birth certificate, marriage certificate)
    • List of assets and liabilities of the deceased
    • Affidavit sworn by you or another legal heir
    • Application fee (varies by court)
  4. Submit the Petition: File the petition along with the documents at the designated district court.

  5. Court Proceedings: You may be required to attend court hearings.

  6. Issuance of Certificate: Upon verifying your claim, the court will issue the Succession Certificate.

Additional Considerations for NRIs

  • Consider appointing a reliable person in India to represent you during court proceedings. This could be a lawyer, a trusted relative, or a friend.
  • The process can be time-consuming. Be prepared for potential delays.

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and shouldn’t be considered legal advice. For specific guidance on your situation, consult a qualified legal professional in India


Obtaining a succession certificate is a crucial step for NRIs to claim inheritance in India. By following the prescribed legal procedures and seeking appropriate legal guidance, NRIs can navigate the process efficiently and ensure their rightful share of the deceased’s estate.

It is advisable to engage with experienced legal professionals who specialize in handling succession matters to streamline the process and mitigate any potential challenges.


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