A document through which the disposition of deceased’s property is made is called succession certificate. This certificate is given under section 370-390 of the succession act. The detail is provided below.
2. Meaning of Succession Certificate
A certificate granted by a competent court to collect the debts and securities of the deceased, as also to receive interests or dividends on and to negotiate or transfer securities.
3. Object of Succession Certificate
The object of succession certificate is to provide speedy remedy and quick decision in succession matters so that legal heirs of deceased may have their share in movable assets ascertained, allocated and disbursed as there may be a needy family requiring immediate disbursement of amount to meet, its merging and day to day needs of life.
4. Conditions to issue succession
Succession certificate can only be granted in the following conditions.
(i) Grant of probate or letter or administration
Where the grant of probate or letter of administration is not essential under section 212 and 213.
(ii) Christian citizen of Pakistan
Where the deceased in a Christian citizen of Pakistan.
(iii) Deceased a Muhammadan
Where deceased in a Muhammadan.
(iv) Hindu Deceased Left will
Where a deceased in a Hindu and he has left a will and probate is not essential under section 573 to 578.
(v) Joint Family Property
Where a property is a joint family property under the Hindu law.
5. Who can apply Succession Certificate?
Following are the person who can apply for succession certificate:
(i) Sound mind person
(ii) Major person
(iii) Person having an interest in estate of deceased
(iv) Secretary of state
(v) Person having beneficial interest in the debt or security of deceased person.
6. Court competent to grant succession certificate
Which court is competent to grant succession certificate, Section 371 of the Act explains this situations thus;
The District Judge within whose jurisdiction the deceased ordinarily resided at the time of his death, or if at that time he had no fixed place of residence, the District Judge, within whose jurisdiction any part of the property of the deceased may be found, may grant a certificate under this part.
(a) Important point of Section 371
Following are the some important points of section 371
Application for succession certificate will be presented before a District Judge.
(ii) Residence of Deceased with his Jurisdiction
The application will be presented before such District Judges within whose jurisdiction the deceased was ordinarily residing at the time of his death.
(iii) No fixed place of Residence
If the deceased had no fixed place of residence at the time of his death, then application will be presented before such-district Judge within whose jurisdiction any part of the property of the deceased may be found.
7. Application for Certificate
Application for succession certificate shall be made to the District Judge by a petition signed and verified by or on behalf of the applicant in the manner prescribed by the C.P.C for the signing and verification of a plaint by or on behalf of a plaintiff.
(a) Particulars of Application
Following are the particulars for the application of succession certificate.
(i) Date of death of deceased
Application should state date of death of the deceased.
(ii) Place of residence of deceased
Place of residence of the deceased or if the residence is not within the jurisdiction, the property of the deceased within the jurisdiction of District Judge.
(iii) Family of Deceased
The family or other near relatives of the deceased and their respective residences.
(iv) Right of Petitioner
The application must show some title or interest in the debt or security, in respect of which the has applied for the certificate. If two or more persons apply, the court must decide who has the preferential claim.
(v) Absence of any impediment
The petition should state that there is no impediment to the grant of certificate.
(vi) Debts or security
The debt or security in respect of which the certificate is applied for.
8. Procedure on application
The procedure for the grant of succession certificate is as follows
(i) Hearing of Application
If the District Judge is satisfied that there is ground for entertaining the application he shall fix a day for hearing thereof.
(ii) Person on whom notice to be served
He shall cause notice of the application and of the day fixed or the hearing to be served on any person to whom, in the opinion of Judge, special notice of the application should be given.
(iii) Posting of Notice
He shall cause notice of the application and of the day fixed for the hearing to be posted on some conspicuous part of the court house in such manner if any, the judge subject to any rules made by the High court in this behalf thinks fit.
(iv) Decision in Summary Manner
Upon the day fixed or as soon thereafter as may be practicable, Court shall proceed to decide in a summary manner right to the succession certificate.
(v) Order for grant of certificate
When the court decides that the application has right to get succession certificate, the court shall an order for the grant of the certificate to him.
(vi) Person having prima facie best title
It the judge cannot decide the right to the certificate without determining questions of law or fact which seem to be too intricate and difficult for determination in a summary proceeding, he may nevertheless grant a certificate to the application if he appears to be the person having prima facie the best title thereto.
(vii) In case of More than one application
Where there are more applicants than one for a certificate, and it appears to the judge that more than one or such applicants are interested in the estate of the deceased, the judge may, in deciding t whom the certificate is to be granted have regard to the extent to interest and the fitness in other respects of the application.
9. Contents of certificate
When the district judge grants a certificate he shall therein specify the debts and securities set forth in the application for the certificate and may thereby empower the person to whom the certificate is granted. (i) to receive interest or dividend on or (ii) to negotiate or transfer or (iii) both to receive interest or dividend on and to negotiate or transfer the securities or any of them.
10. Local extent of certificate
A certificate under this part shall have effect throughout the Pakistan.
11. Effect of Certificate
The effect of the certificate is to accord protection to the parties paying the debts specified in the certificates.
To conclude I can say that Succession certificate is granted by the court of competent jurisdiction on the application of any person having beneficial interest to collect the debts and securities of the deceased, as also receive interests or dividends on and to negotiate or transfer securities.