Learned experts has given valuable advice.Kindly follow it.
RBI has issued guidelines for such cases.
These guidelines and others should be displayed in the bank, maintained at website of the bank and a printed version should be provided to the customer.
20. Settlement of claims in respect of deceased depositors –
Simplification of procedure.
20.2. Accounts without the survivor / nominee clause
In case where the deceased depositor had not made any nomination or for the accounts other than those styled as "either or survivor" (such as single or jointly operated accounts), banks are required to adopt a simplified procedure for repayment to legal heir(s) of the depositor keeping in view the imperative need to avoid inconvenience and undue hardship to the common person. In this context, banks may, keeping in view their risk management systems, fix a minimum threshold limit, for the balance in the account of the deceased depositors, up to which claims in respect of the deceased depositors could be settled without insisting on production of any documentation other than a letter of indemnity.
The BM of the bank would know the minimum threshold limit set by his bank.
It is felt that even for big bank like SBI it is Rs.10000/ only.
The BM can ask to sign letter of indemnity vide which the other legal heirs can sign to make the payment to one of the legal heir e.g. ( wife of the deceased). The surety (ies) would be required to sign on indemnity.
You may request the BM to release the funds by way of letter of indemnity.
If the BM is not competent due to minimum threshold limit set by his bank, or legal opinion by legal cell of the bank, or any other reason, succession certificate may be required.
The BM is under obligation to explain the reasons and procedure to you in person and in writing too.