When opening bank accounts, most of the banks try to coerce you into making a nomination in the new bank account that you open.
Many elderly individuals who have opened account at a very early stage may not have made a nomination. While ideally you must, here are is what could happen in case the person meets with death and there is no nomination in the savings account. A few method in which money can be claimed from the savings account of a dead person.
In case of joint account with either or survivor
In case the savings bank account has been with another joint account holder, then the balance in the account would be passed onto the survivor.
A copy of the application, along with a photocopy of the death certificate would be enough for the bank to delete the name of the dead person. In case the survivor wants to continue the savings acccount, he can or he can simply proceed to close the same.
In case of nomination
In case where there is a nomination the bank will pass the proceeds to the nominee. It will first proceed to check the nomination, along with original copy of the death certificate.
However, if there is a dispute and a WILL it might be a long cumbersome process. There would also be a need for two witnesses to ensure that the bank passes on the dues to the nominee.
Succession certificate/Copy of WILL
Where there is no nominee or the account is not joint, the legal heir may need to produce a copy of the WILL or there has to be a succession certificate in place.
In case of no claimants
In case there is no claimant than the bank may transfer the account to a dormant account. As and when there is a claim made the bank may transfer the balance in the savings account to the legal heir.
It is always a better proposition to open a joint account or one that has a nomination. This would ensure that you would have people who are family members get the proceeds from the savings bank account of a dead person.