RESOURCES

GiftMyLegacy team works continuously to gather all relevant information on the needs of our users and their families. We provide a comprehensive list of resources to help you and your family deal with an unfortunate incident. We provide guidance on obtaining the necessary documentation in case of a death.

Disclaimer – The below information is compiled by us and may be dated. Please use the links provided in each section for an up to date information.

1. What is the procedure to obtain a succession certificate?

Application: A petition needs to be filed with the district court or high court within whose jurisdiction the asset is located.

Details: The name and relationship of the petitioner, names of all heirs of the deceased, details about the time, date and place of death should be mentioned in the application. A copy of the death certificate has to be produced.

Process: The court typically issues a notice in the newspapers for a given period (generally 45 days). If no one contests the petition on the expiry of this period, the court passes an order for issuance of succession certificate.

Fees: The court levies a fixed percentage of the value of the estate as fee for issuance of the certificate.

Points to note
The court fee has to be paid in the form of judicial stamp papers of the required amount, after which the certificate is typed, duly signed and delivered. In addition to the court fee, the lawyer’s fee also needs to be taken into account. If the petition is not contested, the court usually issues a succession certificate in five to seven months.
(The content on this page is courtesy Centre for Investment Education and Learning (CIEL).)

2. What is a legal heir certificate and difference between LHC and SC?

A Legal Heirship Certificate is issued by a tahsildar. A tahsildar is an officer of the revenue branch of the State.

A tahsildar has no right to decide on disputed issues of title or succession. Prior to the issuance of the Legal Heirship Certificate, a summary enquiry is undertaken by the tahsildar, through his or her functionaries, to ascertain the legal heirs of the deceased, so far as may be possible.

A certificate is issued on the basis thereof.

This certificate is useful for certain very, very limited purposes, such as mutation of revenue records and the like. Certain public limited companies are also prepared to act upon this certificate, rather than put individuals through the grind of applying to the court for a formal certificate.

Wherever there is a dispute, or a more formal certificate is required, a person claiming rights under a deceased has the option to apply to the competent court for the issuance of a Succession Certificate.

If the deceased has left a will, then, certain other court procedures will come into play.

Irrespective of the above, if there are disputes between the various parties claiming to be heirs of the deceased, these may be resolved by the parties either amicably or through court. In all these cases, the Legal Heirship Certificate pales into insignificance.

To sum up and answer your queries:

A Legal Heirship Certificate assumes importance only in a scenario where there is absolutely no dispute regarding the persons entitled to succeed to the estate of a deceased person. It cannot be relied on to establish title of any kind. It is not final and binding. Any person who believes that he too is a legal heir, will always be entitled to ignore such Legal Heirship Certificate and institute appropriate proceedings before a competent court.

The court which is called upon to adjudicate in such proceedings will disregard the Legal Heirship Certificate and will decide the matter on the basis of direct evidence laid before it.

A person who relies on a Legal Heirship Certificate can therefore do so if he is reasonably certain that there are no disputes between the parties who assert claims to the estate of the deceased.

Succession Certificate is an order granted by an Authority or court of competent jurisdiction to the successors of estate of a deceased person on the basis of application made by such persons in the capacity as legal heirs or otherwise entitled to succeed to the estate of the deceased person in certain circumstances.

3. What is the procedure to obtain a death certificate?

Death Certificate is a document issued by the government to the kin of the deceased, stating the date, fact and cause of death.

Law states that it is mandatory to register a person’s death with the concerned State Government within 21 days of its occurrence.

Why is a Death Certificate required

This certificate is required to establish the fact of death legally, for relieving the deceased from social, legal and official obligations.

It is also used to enable settlement of property inheritance, and to authorise the family to collect insurance and other benefits.

Documents required

  • Proof of birth of the deceased
  • An affidavit specifying the date and time of death
  • The required fee in the form of court fee stamps
  • A copy of the ration card

The person who is applying for a death certificate is required to provide the evidence of relationship with the deceased, complete address and proof of nationality.

Where to get application forms

The application form to apply for a death certificate is available with the area’s local body authorities and the Registrar who maintains the Register of Deaths.

An evidence of death is required either in the form of a hospital letter where death took place or a certificate from a civil official who certified the death at either the crematorium or burial grounds.

Procedure to apply for Death Certificate

A death is first registered with the concerned local authorities within 21 days of its occurrence, by filling up the form prescribed by the Registrar, in order to apply for a Death Certificate.

Death Certificate is then issued after proper verification.

Registration Fees

Death registrations done within 21 days of its occurrence are done free of cost.

From 21 to 30 days after the death, the Medical Officer, Health(MOH) will certify, collecting a fine of Rs 25.

After 30 days to within a year of death, only the Joint Director of Statistics can provide the certificate with a fine of Rs 50 and an affidavit.

If the death is registered after a year, the applicant can get the certificate by order of a first class magistrate only, which can be a lengthy process. For this, the applicant will need the Cause of Death Certificate, Cremation Certificate and an Affidavit.

4. What is the procedure to claim insurance when one is dead?

Filing a Life Insurance Claim

Claim settlement is one of the most important services that an insurance company can provide to its customers. Insurance companies have an obligation to settle claims promptly. You will need to fill a claim form and contact the financial advisor from whom you bought your policy. Submit all relevant documents such as original death certificate and policy bond to your insurer to support your claim. Most claims are settled by issuing a cheque within 7 days from the time they receive the documents. However, if your insurer is unable to deal with all or any part of your claim, you will be notified in writing.

Types of claims

Maturity Claim – On the date of maturity life insured is required to send maturity claim / discharge form and original policy bond well before maturity date to enable timely settlement. Most companies offer/issue post dated cheques and/ or make payment through ECS credit on the maturity date. Incase of delay in settlement kindly refer to grievance redressal.

Death Claim (including rider claim) – In case of death claim or rider claim the following procedure should be followed.

Follow these four simple steps to file a claim:

  1. Claim intimation/notification
    The claimant must submit the written intimation as soon as possible to enable the insurance company to initiate the claim processing. The claim intimation should consist of basic information such as policy number, name of the insured, date of death, cause of death, place of death, name of the claimant. The claimant can also get a claim intimation/notification form from the nearest local branch office of the insurance company or their insurance advisor/agent. Alternatively, some insurance companies also provide the facility of downloading the form from their website.
  2. Documents required for claim processing
    The claimant will be required to provide a claimant’s statement, original policy document, death certificate, police FIR and post mortem exam report (for accidental death), certificate and records from the treating doctor/hospital (for death due to illness) and advance discharge form for claim processing. Based on the sum at risk, cause of death and policy duration, insurance companies may also request some additional documents.|
  3. Submission of required documents for claim processing
    For faster claim processing, it is essential that the claimant submits complete documentation as early as possible. A life insurer will not be able to take a decision until all the requirements are complete. Once all relevant documents, records and forms have been submitted, the life insurer can take a decision about the claim.
  4. Settlement of claim
    As per the regulation 8 of the IRDA (Policy holder’s Interest) Regulations, 2002, the insurer is required to settle a claim within 30 days of receipt of all documents including clarification sought by the insurer. However, the insurance company can set a practice of settling the claim even earlier. If the claim requires further investigation, the insurer has to complete its procedures within six months from receiving the written intimation of claim.

Claim intimation

In case a claim arises you should:

Contact the respective life insurance branch office.
Contact your insurance advisor
Call the respective Customer Helpline

Claim requirements

For Death Claim:

Death Certificate
Original Policy Bond
Claim Forms issued by the insurer along with supporting documents

For Accidental Disability / Critical Illness Claim:

Copies of Medical Records, Test Reports, Discharge Summary, Admission Records of hospitals and Laboratories.
Original Policy Bond
Claim Forms along with supporting documents

For Maturity Claims:

Original Policy Bond
Maturity Claim Form

What is the procedure for transferring monies from an account of the deceased, in case a nominee is mentioned?

When Nomination is registered with the bank, the nominee can apply to the Bank, giving full details of the accounts of the deceased depositor. On receipt of the claim from the nominee, the branch will verify the photocopy with the original Death Certificate, Nomination number as registered in CBS, Nomination register.

Signatures of two witnesses of good standing and integrity who are acceptable to the Bank should also be provided on the application. The witness can be any of the following:

Magistrate or Judicial official
Any Officer of the Central / State Government or Any Officer of the Bank.
Any two persons acceptable to the Bank.

IN case a nominee is not indicated

In a deceased account where there is neither Survivorship clause nor Nomination, our Bank delivers the assets only to the legal heirs. As disposal with legal representation is time consuming, to improve customer service, our Bank has devised a system of settling the accounts without production of legal representation on the basis of Indemnity – cum – Affidavit. This is applicable only when:
The customer has died INTESTATE i.e. without a WILL and
There are no disputes among the legal heirs and all the legal heirs (other than those who have furnished a Letter of Disclaimer) join in indemnifying the Bank and there is no reasonable doubt about the genuineness of the claimant(s) being the only legal heirs.

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