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Arnab Kumar De   01 May 2018

Nominee vs legal heir....

My mother, invested quite a substantial amount of money (which she inherited upon sudden death of my father) in Mutual Fund. Due to internal family friction she nominated my elder sister and my cousin sisters as Nominee in all such mutual funds instead of me. My query is that upon her demise do I have legal right to claim the investments being the legal heir. In case if the answer is YES then how shall I proceed with my claim. My father didn't made any WILL. We are a hindu by religion. 

Also my mother maintained 02 bank accounts wherein my elder sister is a joint holder & in the other she is a nominee. Under such circumstances does I have legal claim to her money in bank as well as FD as a legal heir.

Shall appreciate a help.


 6 Replies

Rama chary Rachakonda (Secunderabad/Highcourt practice watsapp no.9989324294 )     01 May 2018


Obtain legal heir certificate from the courts by submit the following documents in the court. 

'   Death certificate

  • Identity Card
  • Ration card
  • Prescribed application form

Arnab Kumar De   01 May 2018

Thanks for the guidance. However can you please elaborate the difference between a legal heir and a nominee. In my case can I claim equal rights as a legal heir from the nominee appointed by my mother.

R.Ramachandran (Advocate)     01 May 2018

A Legal heir is entitled to inheritence of the properties (both movable and immovable) left behind by a person (without making a WILL, or without in any way disposing of the property - either by way of GIFT or sale etc.)

A nominee on the other hand is only a Trustee for obtaining the money lying in the banks/financial institutions.  The nominee receives and holds the amounts in trust for the benefit of and distribution to the legal heirs.  Nominee cannot appropriate the amounts to himself/herself.  In case the nominee happens to be one of the legal heirs, then in that case he/she can take away only is/her share and not the entire amount.

In your case, if there is nomination, then the Bank/Financial Institution will honour the nomination and release the amounts to the nominee.  But to prevent the same from happening, you have to approach a civil court for restraining either the bank from releasing or the nominee from appropriating the money.  For this, you have to approach a lawyer in your locality, discuss the matter with him and take appropriate legal steps without wasting time.  This is necessary because, once the nominee takes out the money and utilises it, then it will become a very protracted battle to recover your share from the nominee.

Arnab Kumar De   01 May 2018

Thanks a lot for the same.

As per my understanding my mother had invested in 06 different mutual fund portfolios with nomination in favour of my own sister as well as my cousin sister. However it is my own understanding & I have got no papers available with me to verify the same. In such cases can I avail the details of nominee from the fund house under Right to Information Act. In YES then please guide me with the necessary proceedure to avail the same. 

hadisenami (     01 May 2018

I’m glad that you shared this useful info with us. thank you

rajeev sharma (Advocate Ex senior manager law )     03 May 2018

you have been very well advised by Expert Sri R. Ramchandran. Iwould just like to add one thing ,send a legal notice to the bank claiming as a lawful succcessor of your mother and advising the bank not to release any amoount in favour of nominee 

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