SUCCESSION CERTIFICATE

Published By The Daily Star on December 5, 2009 (Link Above)

This week your advocate is Barrister Omar Khan Joy of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and Head of ‘The Legal Counsel’. His professional interests include commercial law, corporate law, family law, land law, constitutional law, banking law, arbitration and intellectual property laws. Our civil and criminal law experts from reputed law chambers will provide the legal summary advice.

Reader’s query
My father expired in 1996. Still we have some of his savings in a well-reputed bank. My siblings are not alive and residents in different countries. As per Bank’s requirement we need a succession certificate and still in 2009 we didn’t make that. Could you please advise how we can make it and collect the amount what my father deposited in Bank? Or it is too late?

We are three sisters (one lives outside of the country) and two brothers who are not alive now but their successors are present and live in different countries. Please suggest me.

Response
Thank you for asking me to provide opinion in this regard. It has been understood that your father expired in 1996. Since then almost 13 years have passed but you could not manage to obtain a ‘succession certificate’ yet. Please note that the requirement from the bank to produce a success certificate is certainly a valid demand from the banker’s side. The bank cannot and should not pay you or any other successor any amount from your deceased father’s account without the succession certificate. You may feel relieved from your worry to some extent to learn that you can still obtain a succession certificate. The fact that 13 years have passed will not be a bar in obtaining the same. However, you are requested not to make any further delay. The more the delay the more difficult it becomes practically to obtain the said certificate. Because, delay may increase the number of successors. Your father’s successor will include your two sisters, your mother, all the successors of your two deceased brothers and yourself. Further delay will widen the possibility of death of any of the existing successors and consequent increase of numbers of successors as his/her successor will also before successor of said amount.

The succession certificate has to be obtained from the Court of Joint District Judge, Dhaka under the purview of the Succession Act 1925. I understand that most of the successors of your deceased father are now staying abroad. Consequently, it may be virtually impossible that all of you will move before the court together to obtain the certificate. To meet this problem, few alternatives can be suggested. Firstly, the best course of action would be to obtain ‘Power of Attorney’ from all the successors whereby they will authorize you to file the application before the court to issue a succession certificate and also to withdraw their respective shares on their behalf as per the said certificate. Please note that if someone executes the power of attorney while in abroad, then he/she will have to execute the same before the designated officer of the High Commission of Bangladesh situated in that country. Thereafter, proper stamp has to be affixed after verification of the same from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dhaka. Apparently, it may appear to be a cumbersome task but actually is not so difficult to execute. Alternatively, they may authorize you only to file the application for the certificate and to obtain the certificate accordingly. In such a scenario they will withdraw their portions when they will be in Bangladesh. In the most difficult scenario, if some of the successors agree to empower you as an attorney and some disagree or all disagree, in such a situation you can still process with the application. But, you have to name the disagreeing successors as the opposite parties to the case.

The aforesaid discussion on law makes it clear that it is very much possible for you to obtain a succession certificate from the court and to withdraw the money from the bank accordingly. All you need to do is to start the process with the help of your appointed lawyer. So, nothing much to be worried about!

For detailed query contact omar@legalcounselbd.com