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T.V.Pillai   25 February 2024

Succession certificate

Background: My son had passed away recently without leaving a beneficiary in his US based retirement fund known as 401(K). When we got in touch with his US based 401(K) fund management company, they have indicated court issued succession certificate is mandatory to recognize the parents as legal heir. As per the fund management company, the succession certificate needs to be issued by a court in India.

He was working in the US for about 8 years. He had returned to India couple of years back. He is our only son. He was not married at the time of his death. He did not leave a will. He was already working in India at the time of his death.

My questions are as follows:

1) What is the procedure for obtaining a succession certificate in India ?

2) As we stay in Chennai, where will the procedure be completed ?

3) The fund management company won’t disclose the value of the fund to us till we obtain a valid succession certificate. Is this OK while proceeding for the application ?

4) What are the documents required by a lawyer for initiating the process ?

5) What is the approx. timeline ?


 3 Replies

Sidhhi   25 February 2024

What have you done sofar to retrieve the accumulated funds. Ideally you should seek guidance from American Embassy/Consulate and provide that he was your son.

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     25 February 2024

1. You have to  file a petiton seeking succesion certificate by giving the list of assets both movable and the share certificates, terminal benefits as schedule of properties and pay appropriate court fee and file the petition before the district court within your jurisdiciton.

2. In the nearest city civil court.

3. The value of the funds to which the succession certificate  sought is to be clearly mentioned in the succession OP for arriving at the court fee payable to this case.

4. Your lawyer will inform about the documents that are required to be filed .

5. The time taken for disposal of the succession OP cannot be predicted owing to various factors involved in it

Dr. J C Vashista (Advocate )     25 February 2024

Time to be taken to decide the suit for succession cannot be predicted by experts on this platform.

City Civil Court Chhenai should be jurisdictional court for obtaining succession certificate of all movable assets of your son. 

Presumably you are professing Hinduism, if so provisions of Hindu Succession Act, 1955 shall apply through out world, especially in the instant case 

Collect all relevant documents regarding the properties and surviving member certificate, consult and engage a local prudent lawyer for proper guidance and proceeding.

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