Imagine you are a nominee on one of your parent’s bank accounts. And, due to some reason, your parents pass away. After getting back on your feet, you might look at the finances.
One of the tasks you’ll need to take on is transferring their bank accounts and other assets into the names of the beneficiaries. This process can be complex, but with a little bit of research and some help from the bank, you’ll be able to get it done.
A nominee for a bank account is a person designated by the account holder to receive the account balance in the event of death. It is important to remember that the nominee acts as a trustee who holds the funds in trust for the legal heirs of the account holder.
Before going to the bank, you might want to ascertain whether you have access to the ATM/Debit card and whether you know the PIN. If possible, withdraw the money from the ATM.
However, if you are not aware, you can follow these steps to get the amount transferred to you:
Submit necessary documents
The first step would be to submit the necessary documents to the bank. You may write a letter to your bank branch manager enclosing a copy of the account holder’s death certificate, followed by your id proof, stating that you are the account nominee. The bank will suspend the account, and no withdrawal will be possible.
The nominee needs to submit a duly filed ‘claim form’. The form can be simply collected from the branch of the bank. The nominee is required to paste a photograph and submit the required documents mentioned below:
- Passbook/(S)TDR of the deceased account(original)
- Cheque book of deceased
- ATM card of the deceased bank account holder
- Death certificate
- Nomination receipt
- Identification proof of the nominee showing a relationship with the deceased
- Address proof of the nominee
A nominee may present formal documents to prove their connection to the deceased person. If the wife is a nominee, for instance, the connection can be verified using an Aadhaar card, voter identification card, or passport that includes the husband’s name. Similar to the above, if a sibling is a nominee, ID evidence like a PAN can be provided because both siblings have the same father’s name.
Signature of two witnesses
The nominee must provide two witnesses’ signatures. They may be any of the following:
- Any government official or employee of the Central or State bank, including a magistrate or other judicial officer.
- Any two individuals the bank will accept.
In case of legal dispute
As we mentioned, the nominee is the trustee and must share the money among the legal heirs. In most cases, the nominee becomes the heir to the money in the account. However, it might not always be the case. Several family members may claim to be the deceased’s legitimate heirs. The legal heirs can claim money even if there is a nominee.
In this situation, one must go to court and apply for a succession certificate. This certificate attests to the lawful heirs.
If we have to summarise, the transfer of a bank account and deposits in case of a nomination takes place in India by the bank recognizing the nominee as the rightful recipient of the account balance in the event of the account holder’s death. The bank transfers the funds to the nominee, who then holds the funds in trust for the legal heirs of the account holder.
The appointment of a nominee ensures a smooth transfer of funds to the intended recipients and can help simplify settling the estate of the deceased account holder. It is important to note that a nomination is not a substitute for a will.
Padmaja Choudhury is a freelance financial content writer. With around six years of total experience, mutual funds and personal finance are her focus areas.