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Legal Heir Certificate/ Surviving Member Certificate


A Legal Heir Certificate also known as Surviving Member Certificate is issued to prove the right legal heirs left behind by the deceased person. This Certificate is generally required as proof of surviving member to avail different benefits from the different places and in the Government Services where surviving member are preferred.

The legal heir certificate consists of details like name, age, relationship with the deceased and photograph of all surviving family members.


  • To establish relationship with the deceased;
  • To establish claim over the deceased’s assets, movable and immovable;
  • To claim employee benefits of the deceased like family pension, PF, gratuity, etc.;
  • To claim insurance of the deceased;
  • To avail benefit from other government schemes.

It is to be noted that a Legal Heir Certificate is not a conclusive proof under the laws of Succession in India and it is different from a Succession Certificate or Letters of Administration.


  • Class 1 legal heirs: Surviving spouse of the deceased; Son/s; Daughter/s; and Mother
  • In case there are no Class 1 legal heirs: Father, Sibling/s


Legal Heir Certificate/ Surviving Member Certificate can be obtained by approaching the concerned Taluk/ Tehsildar. For example: In Delhi, The SDM/Tehsildar of the concerned area is authorized to issue the Surviving Member Certificate.


The Applicant/s have to submit an application form filled in all respects along with the prescribed fee (different for different areas) and all the necessary documents including but not limited to death certificate, identity and address proof of the applicant/s, list of surviving members and their photographs, etc.

Affidavit from all the surviving members is also required to be submitted along with the application.

After submission of the application, if the concerned official is convinced of the genuineness of the application on the basis of the documents already submitted with the application, Legal Heir Certificate/ Surviving Member Certificate will be granted.

However if the competent authority is not convinced about the genuineness or authenticity of the appended documents, field verification is carried out by a designated officer. This officer submits his field verification report and thereafter the competent authority take a decision whether to grant the certificate or reject the application on the basis of this field verification report.

In Delhi, applicant/s can apply for the certificate online as well. Applicant has to register first on the online portal by using his/ her Aadhar Card or Voter ID card and then the service can be availed.

Generally it takes about 10-14 working days in the entire process.

(As on 1st July 2019)

- As on 1st July 2019