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    Nominee Vs Legal Heirs for Fixed Deposits

    Picture a scenario where a considerable sum of money has been invested in a fixed deposit. A nomination has also been made. Sometime later, the depositor passes away and the money in the fixed deposit is given to the nominee. Everything seems to be going well, when suddenly, someone comes forward claiming they are the deceased person’s legal heir and that they are entitled to the money given to the nominee. The matter goes up in front of a judge and the judge rules that the money, assuming the claimant was indeed the depositor’s legal heir, goes to the legal heir. How did this happen?

    It may come as a surprise to you but a nominee, in fact, is not the same thing as a legal heir and the claim of a legal heir supersedes that of the nominee. Confused? Don’t worry, there is an explanation to support this.

    What is a nominee?

    Technically speaking, a nominee is just a custodian. They are people on whom falls the responsibility of ensuring that the legal heir of the depositor gets the money from a fixed deposit. While there may be times when the nominee is the same as the legal heir, their status as nominee means that they don’t really ‘own’ the money.

    What is a legal heir?

    A legal heir, simply put, is a person defined by a will and testament as the person who should receive the benefits of the deceased’s estates and, in this case, the money from the fixed deposit.

    But what happens if no will has been created?

    In such cases, legal heirs may be decided based on prevailing laws of inheritance in India. This means that the decision will be made based on the Hindu Law or the Muslim law, etc.

    Defining who gets the maturity proceeds

    The answer to this question is painfully simple. Make a will!

    Some people assume that making a will is an archaic practice and that a nomination is enough to ensure that the money goes where you want it to, but they are wrong. The contents of a will always supplant any claims made by anyone else. If you want to ensure that the nominee gets the benefits, mention it clearly in the will.

    What happens in case there are no instructions left behind?

    Wills and nominations are all fine but what happens if the deceased left no instructions about what was to be done with the fixed deposit in the event of their death?

    There are two things that may happen in such a case. First, the bank will try and get in touch with someone related to the deceased deposit-holder. Second, and more likely, is that, in case no one can be reached, the bank will reinvest the fixed deposit or park the money till such time as someone claims it. If someone does come forward to claim the amount, they will be asked to prove their relationship with the depositor before getting access to the FD funds.

    Where do the banks fit into all this?

    You might be wondering, if a nominee is not the legal heir then why would the bank hand over the FD proceeds to him/her?

    The answer to this is that the bank’s responsibility ends with paying out the fixed deposit proceeds to the stated nominee. If a nominee was named then the money goes to the nominee else to a proven legal heir. Once the FD is handed over to the nominee, its distribution is the responsibility of the nominee and not the banks.

    The exception to the rule

    Every rule has an exception and this rule is no different.

    As per the rules, people who can actually ‘own’ the inheritance are the legal heirs and not nominees. The exception comes in when dealing with shares. If a person has been named the nominee to certain shares, they actually ‘own’ those shares until or unless a will is produced which supersedes the nomination.

    Have you ever seen a family dispute over the estate of a recently deceased member of the family? It’s never a pretty sight and in most cases onlookers wonder why the dispute even exists since the person clearly named A or B to be the nominee. Now that you know one of the reasons these disputes exist ensure you make a will that clearly states who receives the fund and spare your loved ones the headache of battling it out in court.

    Nominee Vs Legal Heirs for Fixed Deposits Reviews

    • SBI Fixed Deposit
      "Good FD account"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I have invested the fixed deposit with State bank of India. Since the branch is nearest by my home and they have given me a locker facility hence i have chosen the fixed deposit with SBI. Overall, I'm very much satisfied with the services with SBI.
      Was this review helpful? 0
      , hyderabad
      Reviewed on Jan 18, 2019
    • YES Bank Fixed Deposit
      "Fraud by Yes Bank"
      0.5 1.0/5 "Really Bad"
      Yes Bank has not credited Interest for my Fixed Deposit. On enquiring they gave me a story that the interest amount has been adjusted towards TDS. They have not provided credit entry for the interest and the debit entry for the TDS respectively.
      Was this review helpful? 2
      , bhopal
      Reviewed on Jan 11, 2019
    • ICICI Bank Fixed Deposit
      "Smart Investment"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      In ICICI fixed deposit interest rate is around 6.75% per annum, I opened the FD through online. I have invested Rs. 1 lakh they wont take any charges for the pre matured fixed interest. I believe the interest rate is good compared to the government bank.
      Was this review helpful? 2
      , yamuna nagar
      Reviewed on Jan 10, 2019
    • Kotak Fixed Deposit
      "Average service"
      0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
      I am having a Fixed Deposit account with Kotak Mahindra bank, they provide good services when compared to other banks. I get good interest rate in returns after the maturity period which is after 3 years. Customer support is average with Kotak Mahindra bank.
      Was this review helpful? 1
      , chennai
      Reviewed on Jan 10, 2019
    • HDFC Bank Fixed Deposit
      "Hassle free"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I also have a fixed deposit account with HDFC Bank. The process to open this account is easy. I can do it online. They also offer a good rate of interest on the account. The bank has always been up to the mark to ban with. It is very convenient and easy.
      Was this review helpful? 3
      , noida
      Reviewed on Jan 09, 2019
    • IOB Fixed Deposit
      "Better Banking Experience"
      0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
      I have invested a fixed deposit with Indian Overseas Bank. My wife has recommended me about this bank since she is working over there. I invested the money of Rs. 50000. I don't remember about the tenure period. Before 1 years, i have invested the money with them.
      Was this review helpful? 0
      , tiruchirapalli
      Reviewed on Jan 09, 2019
    • ICICI Bank Fixed Deposit
      "Good Deposit"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I have invested a fixed deposit with ICICI. There is no reason for selected this bank. They have offered me a interest rate of 6.5% and there is no processing fee. I have invested the money 8 months before. This is a one year plan. I'm happy about the services provided by the ICICI for this account
      Was this review helpful? 1
      , thane
      Reviewed on Jan 04, 2019
    • Corporation Bank Fixed Deposit
      "Average"
      0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
      I had account with Corporation Bank and its very old one. I put fixed deposit before 3 to 4 years. The interest rate was around 7% which was minimum compared to others but am satisfied. I have deposited for 5 years. Actually have not taken any benefits, just have invested. The customer service was okay.
      Was this review helpful? 3
      , pune
      Reviewed on Jan 04, 2019
    • HDFC Bank Fixed Deposit
      "Good service"
      0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
      I do have a fixed deposit account with HDFC Bank. They are giving good interest. I can manage this account on line. I have chosen HDFC because of bank financial is good. I have just started long time, The process was very quick and it was done through on line.
      Was this review helpful? 4
      , thane
      Reviewed on Jan 02, 2019
    • SBI Fixed Deposit
      "Best Investment plan"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I have taken fixed deposit account in State Bank Of India . They are not charging any charges for the account . I used to get income tax benefits . Am satisfied with the customer service and response.They are giving good rate of interest . Overall am happy with my account .
      Was this review helpful? 5
      , ahmedabad
      Reviewed on Dec 29, 2018
    • review Fixed Deposit
      "Good online features on FD"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      In Saraswat bank they are providing the interest around 7% per annum, the minimum amount Rs. 5000 to max, still my FD is running with this bank. The online options are excellent without visiting I can track the interest and deposit amount through online.
      Was this review helpful? 1
      , pune
      Reviewed on Dec 17, 2018
    • HDFC Bank Fixed Deposit
      "Convenient FD with HDFC"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      In HDFC I can deposit for minimum of Rs. 5000 to max amount. I done the investment of one time payment around Rs.6 lakhs. I can chose the tenure period based on the convenient, it gives the interest of 7% its maximum. I can open and close the account through online.
      Was this review helpful? 6
      , pune
      Reviewed on Dec 17, 2018
    • SBI Fixed Deposit
      "Very Good Service"
      0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
      I had made this investment pretty long time back and the services which they had provided so far has been good. The interest rate with them has been good and the growth with the investment has also been good. Their customer support has been helpful in guiding with everything.
      Was this review helpful? 9
      , bangalore
      Reviewed on Dec 14, 2018
    • YES Bank Fixed Deposit
      "Excellent Service"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      It has been a good service which they had been providing so far and i had started this investment a log time back. Their customer support has been helpful in guiding me in the investment plans and explaining with the growth of the investment. The interest rate with them has also been good.
      Was this review helpful? 4
      , bangalore
      Reviewed on Dec 14, 2018
    • Citibank Fixed Deposit
      "Not satisfied with the service"
      0.5 1.0/5 "Really Bad"
      I had started this investment a pretty long time back and they had been providing a good service. Their customer support has not been responsive and i do not suggest any one to make an investment through them. There has not been a good growth with the investment.
      Was this review helpful? 1
      , bangalore
      Reviewed on Dec 14, 2018
    • SBI Fixed Deposit
      "Good Investment Plan"
      0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
      I have taken fixed deposit account in STATE BANK OF INDIA . They are not charging any charges for the account . I used to get income tax benefits . Am satisfied with the customer service and response.They are giving good rate of interest . Overall am happy with my account .
      Was this review helpful? 4
      , mumbai
      Reviewed on Dec 12, 2018
    • Post Office Fixed Deposit
      "Good investment plan"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I have started investing in the fixed deposit almost more than 5 years. I have invested a variable amount in different times. They have offered me a interest rate of 7.5%. The response was good. I have chosen the post office because of the safe and security.
      Was this review helpful? 14
      , guwahati
      Reviewed on Dec 12, 2018
    • YES Bank Fixed Deposit
      "Excellent service"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I have the fixed deposit account with the Yes bank and the interest rate they have given me is good, also the customer service is good too they have co-ordinated with me well they time to time update me about there date of pay my next fixed deposit date.On line banking services are fine one too and am really happy with them.
      Was this review helpful? 0
      , ahmedabad
      Reviewed on Dec 11, 2018
    • Axis Bank Fixed Deposit
      "Average bank to avail fixed deposit"
      0.5 4.5/5 "Excellent!"
      I have chosen the Axis bank for my fixed deposit. I have deposited around of Rs. 50000. Since they are providing very good services in their branch. They have offered me a interest rate of 6.5%. I put the money in 2015. I have visited their branch many times and the service is very much prompt. I had no issues with them.
      Was this review helpful? 2
      , hyderabad
      Reviewed on Dec 11, 2018
    • ICICI Bank Fixed Deposit
      "Satisfactory"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      My fixed deposit is with ICICI Bank. I had to go to the bank and meet the executive and open the account. I can close the account online. There is a lock in period for 12 to 13 months. The interest I earn is satisfactory. I have a deposit of 70K. Overall good.
      Was this review helpful? 1
      , new delhi
      Reviewed on Dec 07, 2018
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