When a person dies without having made a will (intestate), their possessions are passed on to their legal heirs. However, in such a situation, the Court must verify that the persons receiving such securities and debts of the deceased person are in fact their legal heirs. This is where the succession certificate comes in. It bestows upon the holder of such certificate the right to inherit such securities and debts left behind by the deceased person.

When Is A Succession Certificate Needed?

In the event of a person dying intestate, the legitimate heir of such person needs to be recognized correctly and effectively, to simplify the process of sorting out the nuances of the distribution of assets. Thus, a succession certificate is needed as it grants the holder the ability to inherit his portion of the inheritance.

Factors Influencing Costs

Value of the Asset

The costs for the succession certificate are calculated on the basis of the assets and their corresponding value. Thus, the costs are directly proportional to the value of the assets, i.e., the higher the value of the assets, the higher the costs for the succession certificate.

Complexity of Case

Oftentimes, the complexity of a case can influence the costs associated with getting a succession certificate.  There may be disputes amongst the various heirs of the deceased person, or there can be multiple claimants of the assets being passed on, or the existing documentation may be unclear, which can all lead to the process of obtaining a succession certificate becoming more complex and expensive.

Legal Assistance

For navigating the complexities and intricacies of the process of obtaining the certificate, you require the assistance of a legal professional. The expertise of the lawyer can help simplify the process and impact the efficiency as well as the overall expenses borne.

Location of the Property

The fees for the succession certificate varies by state, and so do the legal requirements. Understanding state-specific procedures and fees can help streamline the process of obtaining the succession certificate.

Number of Heirs

The costs can be impacted by the number of heirs claiming their stake in the assets of the deceased person, as it can lead to a complex process, that requires additional documentation and legal proceedings, subsequently increasing the overall expenses.

Costs Involved

Lawyer fees

A pivotal and indispensable step in the process of obtaining a succession certificate is engaging the services of a proficient lawyer. The fees for such services provided by the lawyer can fluctuate on grounds of the intricacies of each case and their subjective nature. Investing in good legal assistance is exceptionally crucial in order to ensure a smooth navigation of the complexities involved and efficiently acquire the succession certificate.

Stamp duty

When it comes to legal documentation, such documents carry a financial obligation known as stamp duty. Any succession certificate is thus subject to this requirement. However, the amount of stamp duty levied on the succession certificate is contingent upon the valuation of the assets left behind by the deceased person. Payment of such stamp duty apart from being a financial formality, is also a crucial step towards affirming the legitimacy of the succession certificate.

Court Fees

The submission of a petition for obtaining a succession certificate is coupled with a commitment to pay the court fees. It is important to note that the amount of court fees to be paid varies on the basis of the state where such a petition is being filed.

Publication Expenses

When a court receives a petition for obtaining a succession certificate, it is responsible for disseminating such information to the public. To achieve this, the court publishes a notice in a newspaper, to invite any and all potential objections. As a result, the costs for such publication are to be borne by the petitioner.

Tips To Minimize Costs

Tip 1: Potential heir conflicts might lead to lengthy litigation, significantly increasing both the difficulty and cost of obtaining a succession certificate. If a mutually beneficial decision is not attainable, measures can be made to avoid lengthy legal conflicts and thereby decrease expenses through mediation or alternative dispute resolution.

Tip 2: While having legal counsel is vital, using the services of a lawyer who is both qualified and experienced can help to save costs. Someone who has past experience getting succession certificates would most likely be able to traverse the procedure efficiently, minimising both the time and the accompanying expenses.

Tip 3: Since the legal criteria and fees for getting a succession certificate differ by state, it is essential to become familiar with these processes in order to expedite the process. As a result, in order to save costs, it is critical to retain the services of a lawyer who is proficient with, or knowledgeable of, the legal requirements of the relevant state and can assure compliance with local mandates.

How Can We Help NRIs Get Succession Certificates?

We provide individualised, client-centred legal assistance to handle any problems that non-resident Indians (NRIs) could have when inheriting assets in India.  We are aware of the complexity involved in obtaining a succession certificate and our team is offering round-the-clock legal assistance, enabling clients from any part of the world to have access to lawyers when they need them. By handling the process on your behalf here, we ensure that our seasoned professionals help you obtain succession certificates in a timely as well as cost-effective manner.


To ensure a smooth transfer of assets when there is no will, getting a succession certificate is crucial, as it acts as proof that you are the rightful inheritor of the assets to be inherited. The costs involved in getting a succession certificate, thus depend on factors like the value of the assets to be inherited, the complexity of the case and the legal assistance required for streamlining the process. In order to control these expenses, it is crucial to make prudent decisions. This includes selecting a proficient and knowledgeable lawyer who has a track record of obtaining succession certificates successfully. Additionally, attempting to resolve conflicts amicably without engaging in protracted legal disputes is advisable. It is also important to familiarize oneself with the specific procedures outlined for obtaining succession certificates in your particular state. Our experienced team is here to make the succession certificate process smoother and faster, especially for Non-Resident Indians looking to inherit assets in India.


How can I apply for a succession certificate?

A petition must be submitted at a court equipped to handle civil proceedings with relevant jurisdiction, coupled with a death certificate of the departed person, in order to receive a succession certificate.

Is it possible to apply for a succession certificate online?

Some states allow you to apply for a succession certificate online. The same thing may be done by going to the state’s official site and submitting the necessary paperwork and fees.

Where is a succession certificate valid?

The succession certificate is valid all throughout India.

How do I contest a certificate of succession?

After the notice is published by the Court in a national newspaper or served to other legal heirs who might be impacted by the petition for a succession certificate, the notice can be contested within 45 days by objecting to the petition and providing documentation to back up their contentions.