A legal heirship certificate in Pakistan is required when a person dies leaving behind immovable property i.e. house, land, Plot, etc. The deceased’s heirs cannot transfer immovable property in their own name unless they obtain a declaration/ legal heir certificate from the civil court.
Under Islamic law, when a person dies his property/ estate automatically devolves onto his legal heir. However, the law and prevalent practice requires compliance of legal requirements before the property could transfer to his/her actual legal heirs
In this article, we will explain the complete procedure of legal heirship certificate in Pakistan to transfer immovable properties. We will also explain:
- What is the heirship certificate meaning?
- Whether heirship certificate is required for pensioners?
- Whether you can get an heirship certificate from NADRA?
- Heirship certificate Vs succession certificate
- What is the letter of administration in Pakistan
Heirship certificate meaning?
This certificate is called “Warasat Nama” or “وراثت نامہ” in Urdu. It’s a legal document that the court issues. It establishes the legal relationship between heirs and the deceased. It’s a must procedure for the transfer of property to legal heirs in Pakistan.
Legal Heirship certificate for pensioners
When a government servant dies who was entitled to a pension under the prescribed rules. His widow wife or where his daughter is widow or unmarried, they are legally entitled to receive pensions.
The legal heirship certificate is also required to transfer the pension of the deceased. Although the government departments are following a wrong practice of demanding a succession certificate which is only applicable to debts and liabilities.
The supreme court has upheld in its decisions that pension doesn’t fall under the ambit of “Debts and Liabilities” so to transfer pension legal heir certificate is needed.
Can you get an heirship certificate from NADRA?
NADRA doesn’t have the power to grant a legal heirship certificate in Pakistan. Because this matter involves filing a civil suit in Pakistan’s court. However, the Government of Pakistan has plans to transfer succession certificate matters to NADRA.
Heirship Certificate VS Succession Certificate
There is a big difference between then and due to their somehow similarity a confusion always remains.
The Heirship Certificate in Pakistan is needed when the deceased dies having an immovable property on his/her name, and his heirs want that property to distribute them among themselves.
The Succession Certificate lies when the deceased dies leaving behind money in the bank, saving certificates, or share, etc. For more detail, you can read our article on the procedure of succession certificate in Pakistan with formate.
What is the procedure of obtaining a legal heirship certificate in Pakistan?
To obtain legal heir certificate (Warasat Nama) you will require following documents:
- Original Death Certificate of Deceased
- Copy of CNIC of all heirs
- Details of property that the deceased left behind
Once you have compiled these documents now it’s time to hire a legal counsel. He will draft a suit mentioning all the details that you have provided. He will also mention that there isn’t any other legal heir beside them.
Then a formal suit will be submitted in the court. On the first hearing, the court will issue notices to the general public Via Proclamation in Local Newspaper. On the next hearing, the court will summon one of the legal heirs along with the independent witness to submit statements.
What’s in the statement?
You may be wondering what statement the court will record. Worry not, the court will ask questions from one of the legal heir and his witness one by one. These questions are;
- What is the relationship between you (heir) and the deceased
- How many other legal heirs are there?
- Do the parents of the deceased are alive or dead?
- Does the Wife of deceased alive?’
- Has he contracted a second marriage in his life?
The court will ask from witness that
- What is your relationship with the legal heir?
- How long have been known to each other?
- The remaining question will be the same.
Once the statement is recorded your legal counsel will submit documentary proof i.e. death certificate, CNIC, proof of property.
On the last hearing, the court will ask to present concluding arguments. (Well it depends on the case and judge. Usually, arguments are not needed in these cases.)
At last the court will decide the case that (these) legal heirs are declared as the legal successors of deceased. Now your counsel will give application to get attested copies of declaration of heirship certificate.
Tip – Apply more attested copies if deceased had more then one property.
Do all the Legal Heirs need to be present at the time of filing of case?
No, it is not required to present all the legal heirs before the court. Only one legal heir can file a suit of legal heirship certificate along with one independent witness.
If one of your sibling is living abroad or in other country they need not to come in court.
Should I attach all the documents of the property?
There was a time when you have to submit original documents of properties at the time of recording statements. Now that practice is obsolete, all you have to do is to mention the details and addresses of immovable property at the time of filing a suit.
Even if you don’t mention any property, the court will decide the case. Because the purpose of the heirship certificate is to declare from the court that these are the original legal heirs of the deceased.
Where can I file a declaration suit?
The law has given you options for filing suit for legal heirship certificate. You can either
- File this suit where the deceased lived
- Where the deceased has properties, or
- Where the heir or deceased temporarily resided.
You don’t need to obtain an heirship certificate over immovable properties that are located in more than one place. Only one certificate is sufficient for all of the deceased properties.
Under what law legal heir certificate is granted in Pakistan?
The law that governs this suit is mentioned in the Specific Relief Act, 1877. Its section 42 deals with this subject.
How to transfer inherited immovable property in Pakistan?
Once you have attested copy of this certificate then you need to know where the deceased property is?
If the immovable property is located in the registered housing schemes i.e. Bahria or DHA then they have their own land record kept in their head office. Bring allotment letter, FRC(Family Registration Certificate from NADRA), and attested copy of legal heir certificate. They will transfer that property in a couple of days and will issue you a new allotment letter.
However, if the deceased property is located in the city areas whose record is not computerized then you need to visit the concerned Patwar circle and give him an attested copy. he will initiate a procedure that involves an application to tehsildar and then a recording of statements.
Those areas whose land record is computerized they can visit concerned Arazi record Center. Get a token wait for their turn. Give them an attested copy of the legal heirship certificate and record statements before ADLR.
Can all Legal heirs transfer immovable property in the name of one legal heir?
Yes, all legal heirs can transfer immovable property in the name of one legal heir. To do that all legal heirs will execute Power of Attorney in favor of receiving legal heir. This power of attorney will get registered in the registrar office.
Then using this attorney all legal heirs will appear before the tehsildar and put a statement that
“We in our conscious mind are willing to transfer all of our share in the name of one (named) legal heir. There is no compulsion on us nor we are forced to do it”
Format of legal heirship Certificate in Pakistan
You can use the following draft to file suit to get legal heirs certificate. You should make changes in the below format.
BEFORE THE COURT OF HONORABLE SENIOR CIVIL JUDGE, ISLAMABAD
Suit No. ___________ of 2019
- Mst. FM W/o SA D/o MY (late), R/o ——- Islamabad CNIC No. —–
- Mst. FK W/o RU D/o MY (late), R/o —– Islamabad CNIC No. 3130—–
- Mst. FK (late) W/o HA (late) D/o MY (late), R/o —– Islamabad. CNIC No. —-
Through legal heirs.
- Mst. FU D/o HA (late), —— Islamabad CNIC NO. —–
- FA s/o HA (late), R/o —– Islamabad CNIC NO. —-
- AAA S/o HA (late), —– Islamabad CNIC NO. —–
Public at Large
SUIT FOR DECLARATION OF LEGAL HEIRS AND ISSUANCE OF LEGAL HEIRSHIP CERTIFICATE
- That the brother of the Plaintiffs namely MA (late) S/o MY passed away on 16-06-2012 (copy of death certificate enclosed) leaving behind the following legal heirs:
- Mst. FY Sister
- Mst. FK Sister
- Mst. FK (late) Sister
Through legal heirs.
- Mst. FU
- That the deceased MA (late) has no other legal heirs except the persons named above and the parents of the deceased had already passed away.
- That the deceased MA (late) was the owner of the following properties mentioned below:
- Plot 25 X 50 measuring 139/-Square yards, In MANZAR-E-KOHSAR Block of “MULTI-GARDENS” Sector B-17 Scheme in lieu of membership No.1340-AHS, Situated at Multi-Professional Co-Operative Housing Society, Islamabad by virtue of Membership No: 14792-MG/ 1340 AHS (Copy of MPCHS Allotment is Attached)
- That the persons mentioned in Para No. 1 of the plant are the only legal heirs of the deceased MA (late) and no one else is the legal heir.
- That the deceased had issueless.
- That the cause of action accrued since the death of the deceased MA (late) on 16-06-2012 and is continuing day by day; and last few days ago when the concerned departments has refused to listen the genuine request of the legal heirs for the transfer of the above-stated properties.
- That the plaintiffs are also entitled to all moveable and immoveable Assets/properties of deceased MA (late).
- That the cause of action arose in Islamabad, hence this Honourable Court has got jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
- That the suit has been valued as Rs. 20,000/- which is exempted from court fee, however, the required court fee has been affixed.
In view of the forgoing submissions, it is humbly prayed that the suit of the plaintiffs may kindly be decreed as prayed and the plaintiffs may kindly be declared as legal heirs of the deceased and heirship certificate may kindly be issued, for the larger interest of justice.
Any other relief which this Honorable Court may deem fit and proper may also be granted to the plaintiff.
Verified on Oath at Rawalpindi on this ______ day of February 2012 that the contents of Para No. 1 to 6 are true and correct to the best of knowledge and belief and the rest of the paragraphs are believed to be true and correct.
BEFORE THE COURT OF HONORABLE SENIOR CIVIL JUDGE, ISLAMABAD.
Suit No. __________ of 2019
Imran Sharif etc Vs. Public at Large
SUIT FOR DECLARATION OF LEGAL HEIRS AND ISSUANCE OF LEGAL HEIRSHIP CERTIFICATE
I, IS S/o MS (late), R/o ——, Presently reside House —–, do hereby solemnly affirm and declare that the contents of accompanying plaint are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief and nothing has been concealed or misstated therein.
Verified on oath at Rawalpindi on this _____day of February 2019 that the contents of the above-mentioned affidavit are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief and that nothing material has been concealed or misstated therein.