Legal Heir Certificate

A Legal Heir Certificate can be obtained by his/her legal heirs after the death of the testator to transfer the assets of the deceased. Legal Heir Certificate is an essential document that helps in building a relationship between his/her legal heir and the deceased. It is mandatory to obtain a legal heir certificate for the successors after the death certificate is issued by the municipal corporation so that the heirs could claim their rights over the assets of the deceased person. Generally, people appoint an attorney to obtain this certificate.  

legal heir certificate

Purpose of Legal Heir Certificate

A Legal Heir Certificate is needed for the following purpose:

  • To transfer assets of the deceased person to his legal heirs.
  • To claim insurance. 
  • To sanction and process the family pension of the deceased employee. 
  • To receive dues from the Government of India like provident fund, gratuity, etc.  
  • To receive the due salary of the deceased, state, or central government employee. 
  • To gain employment from the Government based on compassionate appointments.

Who can be a Legal Heir? 

The persons mentioned below come under the scope of the legal heirs and can claim a legal heir certificate in India:

  • Parents of the deceased person
  • Spouse of the deceased person
  • Siblings of the deceased person
  • Children of the deceased person 

What is the procedure to get Legal Heir Certificate?

According to the Indian Succession Act 1925, there is no specific method to obtain a Legal Heir Certificate, and it can easily be obtained by revenue officers or talukdars in every taluk.

The procedure to obtain a legal heir certificate is as follows:

  • Firstly, approach the area/taluktehsildar and ask for the legal heir certificate. The application contains the name of the legal heirs, their relationship with the deceased, and the address of the legal heirs.
  • All the necessary documents should be attached with the application.
  • An affidavit on stamp paper/ self-declaration to be submitted along with the application.
  • The revenue inspector or administrative officer shall conduct an inspection.
  • After the inspection is complete successfully, the officer issues the legal heir certificate.   

Documents needed for Legal Heir certificate

The documents needed to be attached to the application form of the legal heir certificate and are as follows:

  • An affidavit (notarized),
  • Identity Proof of the applicant, 
  • Original death certificate of the deceased person,
  • Address proof of the deceased person, 
  • Birth certificates and date of birth of all legal heirs, 
  • A letter in the name of the deceased employee by the Govt. Department to obtain a legal heir certificate from DC office,
  • Residence proof of all legal heirs, and  
  • Court Fees.


As discussed above, a legal heir certificate is a document issued by the tahsildar or municipal corporation officer after the death of a person to its legal heirs. However, while applying for the certificate one should be careful and shall take help of a competent  legal heir certificate attorney India.


A Legal Heir Certificate states the true and legal heirs of the deceased person whereas, the Succession Certificate is granted to establish the validity and legality of the legal heirs and authorize them to decide for the assets and securities of the deceased person. 

Anybody from the family of the deceased can apply for a Legal Heir Certificate. The following members are eligible to apply:

  • Husband of the deceased
  • Son of the deceased
  • Daughter of the deceased
  • Mother of the deceased

Usually, the process to obtain a Legal Heir Certificate takes around 30 days. You can approach the Revenue Department Officer (RDO)/ sub collector in case there is an unnecessary delay in getting the certificate or the authorities are ignorant. 

A married daughter is eligible to obtain a Legal Heir Certificate. As per the amendment of 2005, married daughters are taken to be a legal heir.

A Legal Heir Certificate is needed in the following situations:

  • In case of transfer of properties and assets of the deceased person to his/her legal heirs.
  • To claim insurance.
  • To sanction and process family pension of the deceased employee.
  • To receive arrears like provident fund, gratuity etc. from the Government
  • To receive salary arrears of the deceased employee of state or central Government.
  • To gain employment based on compassionate appointments.

A nominee is a person who will receive the assets on the death of the owner/holder. Whereas, a Legal heir is a person who shall succeed the assets of the deceased person as per the will or succession laws.

As per the Indian laws, the nominee will receive and keep the property until he/she is instructed or legally bound to transfer or divide it among the legal heirs of the deceased. 

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