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Nominee Vs Legal Heir: Whom Should the Bank Pay Fixed Deposit Amount of a Dead Person?


Banks have always a tricky business to handle when it comes to payment of proceeds in the savings account or fixed deposits of an account holder who has expired.


Now, let us say there is an Account Holder, who has expired while a bank deposit was in force. He has put a nominee for the fixed deposit. But, along with a nominee a rightful heir also stakes claims to the proceeds of the fixed deposit.

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Nominee Vs Legal Heir: Whom Should the Bank Pay Fixed Deposit Amount To?
Now, the first thing the bank would have to do is ask the legal heir to bring along with him a succession certificate. Apart from this the heir also has to bring from the court an injunction restraining the bank from making payment to the nominee of such fixed deposit account.

If there is no legal heir who has staked his claim to the proceeds of the fixed deposit or savings bank account, then the bank can fulfill its obligation for paying the nominee the proceeds.

It's important that as long as the legal heir produces a decree, order, certificate or other authority from a court of competent jurisdiction, the bank may find it difficult to pay the nominee.


It's always a complicated affair, if a legal heir stake its claims. The bank must follow the due process of law while discharging its obligations. It must exercise caution and use discretion in handing over the dues.

Read more about: fixed deposit savings account
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