The Tamil Nadu government has issued fresh guidelines for issuing the legal heir certificate, which will henceforth be in a common format applicable to everyone without any difference on the basis of religion or gender.
Earlier, the certificate was issued under different categories.
According to the fresh guidelines, a Tahsildar or an independent Deputy Tahsildar should not impose any restrictive condition such as the certificate is valid only for a specific time or it is not valid in a civil court.
The applicant can apply online to the Tahsildar in whose jurisdiction the deceased person “ordinarily resided” before his/her death.
If that person resided in the jurisdiction for fewer than six months, the Tahsildar shall obtain a report from the Tahsildar in whose jurisdiction the deceased resided for more than a year.
The father, mother, spouse, son(s) and daughter(s) could apply for the certificate if the deceased was a married person.
In the case of the death of an unmarried person, the father, mother, brother(s) and sister(s) could apply for the certificate. “In case, no adult legal heir is surviving, a minor legal heir can apply through his/her guardian or through the brother(s) or sister(s) of the deceased person.”
As for adopted children, the Tahsildars should issue the certificate after confirming that they have been adopted legally.
Appeals and revisions
The guidelines also provide for appeals and revisions. Against the order of the Tahsildar, an appeal can be filed with the Revenue Divisional Officer within one year of issuance of the certificate or rejection of the application.
The power of revision of the orders passed by the Revenue Divisional Officer rests with the District Revenue Officer, and a revision petition shall be filed within a year of an order having been passed on an appeal.