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Aditi (N/A)     23 October 2011

How to claim the money from banks

My father deposited some amount in the bank  and nominated me for the same.  After his death, in order to claim that amount  the bank is demanding death certificate, heir certificate and indemnity bond which needs to be signed by all heirs.

Why is the bank demanding heir certificate where as the nomination is given already? Isn't just the death certificate enough? Or should we  produce any document for the father-daughter relation?

Is the indemnity bond mandatory for the banks as per RBI guidence or law? why is the bank demanding for it?


Thanks for any inputs.



 34 Replies

Isaac Gabriel (Advocate)     23 October 2011

After the death of the depositor,the right to claim vests with the legal heirs.The indemnity is sought to safeguard the interest of the bank against any future claims by third parties.What the bank says is right.

Aditi (N/A)     23 October 2011

Thanks Sir, for your reply.

Why do the bank have to worry when the nomination is given? Is it not the responsibility of the nominee to distribute the money to all the legal heirs ? Some banks which i have enquired said no documents are required other than death certificate.

G.L.N. Prasad (Retired employee.)     23 October 2011

Bank is not supposed to insist for any other documents than copy of death certificate, ID/Address proof/KYC and a formal appication for settlement.  However some banks are taking law into their hands and dictating terms defeating the very purpose of introducing nomination clause.   The sky is not going to fall if the bank settles the claim in favour of nominee and it is quite legal as per nomination  registerered in their book/reclrds unless and until there are rival claims.  The only remedy is to approach Banking Ombudsman.  I was a retired manager, and  after introduction of Nomination clause settled several claims but never insisted Legal heir certificate/succession certificate etc/.

Krish Narayan (Advocate)     24 October 2011


There is no necessity for the bank to ask Legal Heirship certificate, when the deceased had nominated a name for his account or deposit as the case may be. However, the legal position of a nominee is a trustee of money of other legal beneficiaries ie. other legal heirs. The nominee has a legal duty to distribute the money to other legal heirs including him, if he is a legal heir. The nominee cannot become the sole owner of the money, as per several judgments reported. However, it is not the look after of the bank. Therefore, complain the matter to Banking Ombudsman within six months. If it is not possible, take the matter to Consumer Forum within 2 years from the date when the bank refused to entertain your application.

Thanks and Regards,


vasant kulkarni (DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER)     24 October 2011




Kumar Doab (FIN)     24 October 2011

It is believed that none of other family members, legal heir has staked a claim on the deposit with the bank/BM. Kindly check, if the nomination is registered on the FD/deposit receipt.

You can submit a written letter, enclosing self attested copies of your ID, address proof, pan card,addressed to BM of the bank, mentioning date of your previous representations in person, and demanding disbursement of paymnent at once. Obtain the acknowledgment of your letter under seal and full original signature by hand and ask the BM to put his name and employee number. YOu may mention that you are the registered nomineee, and you are showing the original proofs as per KYC rules to BM, copies of which are enclosed with your letter.

If the BM delays, you may lodge a complaint with nodal officer and chairman of the bank stating that the BM is exceeding the rules and causing harassment, and seek relief.

Kumar Doab (FIN)     24 October 2011

Kindly enclose death certificate.

J. P. Shah (RTI & CONSUMER ACTIVIST)     24 October 2011

If the branch manager does not comply based on nomination [without any other document except death certificate] then scale up the matter to Nodal Officer of the bank at Head Office. Please visit website of the bank and customer care/contact us link for address.

1 Like

Maran9500028999 (Practising lawyer)     24 October 2011


After the demise of your father,all the legal heirs have the rights to claim the deposit from the bank.  Need of legal heirs by the bank is to safequard the bank, as wel to know the relationship between you and your father and others legal heirs if any (Govt records)

Isaac Gabriel (Advocate)     24 October 2011

The legal heirs take priority over the nominee.See the link

Attached File : 15197 218873 6 nominee vs legal heirs sc.doc downloaded: 164 times
1 Like

Kumar Doab (FIN)     24 October 2011

Many thanks to learned  Mr. Gabriel for posting the judgment in the forum. It shall help many who visit the forum.

Many banks print the rules on the FD application form which may clearly state under terms and conditions:

"In case of death of depositors, premature termination of term deposit would be allowed without levying any penalty for premature closure at the request of the person such as survivor(s)/nominee/legal heir(s), who is eligible to receive the deposit on maturity."

In case of the query posted the depositor had registered the nomination. It is believed that no other family member/legal heir other than nominee has staked the claim with the bank.

The nominee can ask for the copy/certified copy of the term deposit form and draw the attention of the BM to the terms and conditions and request the BM not to put extra burden on nominee. In case of registered nomination bank is already safeguarded.

1 Like

J. P. Shah (RTI & CONSUMER ACTIVIST)     25 October 2011

In case of nomination, bank is discharged of all its liabilities on payment to nominee. Nominee becomes trustee fo heirs. Hence in case of nomination, bank need not go into details of heirs or seek their concurrence.

1 Like

J. P. Shah (RTI & CONSUMER ACTIVIST)     25 October 2011

In case if there is dispute between nominee or heirs then heirs should get a stay order from competent court restraining bank from parting with money to nominee. In present case under discussion, I think there is no dispute in court. Nominee does not become owner of amount, he becomes trustee for heirs of the deceased. Nomination facility was introduced with a view to avoid harassment to heirs of customer. I was branch manager of PSB and in such cases, I have paid within 15-30 minutes to nominee if he submits original death certificate, simple claim form for nominee, original FD or pass book and his proper identification by two bank clients or one gazetted officer etc

1 Like

G.L.N. Prasad (Retired employee.)     25 October 2011

It is heartening to note that still there are several good samaritans to help without any benefit for the sake of helping only and one should appreciate the role of Lawyersclubindia.com.   However in most of the  issues it is found that the persons seeking query is not coming out with relevant facts/particulars in full or either deliberately or through ignorance suppressing material facts.  The experts are furnishing replies in highly technical manner and most of the time lay persons are confused with so many answers and how the information has to be applied for their issues.   In the present case the issues are the Duties and responsibilities of Bank in settling the claim in favour of nominee, the nominee's rights and responsibilities only and what the law says about nomination settlement, the immediate remedy to curb and curtail the high handedness of banker.  Many experts have given a comprehensive reply covering each and every aspect and this particular replies are references for the entire nomination issue in future and to sum up the entire issue.

1.Nominee has to produce attested death certificate, identity proof and formal application for the settlment of claim with physical handing over of original certificate.

2. As per nomination clause rules and regulations payment to the nominee as registered in Nomination register and other records is in due course and no banker can turndown request.

3.If there are rival claimants, and for any other reason banker refuses to honour his legal commitment, RTI application can be made for their existing procedure as per their Manuals and their written refusal for further course of action through complaint to Next authority, Ombudsman and consumer forum etc., as it is not for the banker to identify legal heirs and settle the claims himself when nomination is registered exonerating him from all other risks.

Once again high appreciation is due for those volunteeers who have given very vast and useful information which covered almost each and every aspect of Nomination except that of Nomination circulars and procedure prescribed by RBI.

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