Does a woman have any rights to her grandmother’s FD?

Do I have any rights on the bank fixed deposit (FD) of my recently deceased grandmother. It may be noted here that my mother died a long time ago and my uncles and aunts did not include me as a nominee for this BD. I am in dire need of financial support and need to know how to make a legal claim?

— Name withheld on request

You should first find out whether your grandmother inherited BD from her ancestors or whether you inherited it yourself. If it is the latter, the distribution will take place according to the will she left or according to the intestate succession, in the absence of a will.

If she inherited the BD from her ancestors, you may have a claim in the BD. Being a nominee only confers custodial rights rather than ownership of the BD. In the event that your claim is made on the BD, then even if you do not nominate, you will be entitled to receive your share in the BD.

My friend, who died recently, had invested in stocks and mutual funds (MFs) but his family does not have the folio numbers and other information. Is there a way the family can find out about their assets?

— Name withheld on request

There is no single repository or system in India that provides information on all types of assets or investments owned by a person. Therefore, it is very difficult to find out about the assets that the deceased would have purchased during his life.

The first step should be to speak to the deceased’s chartered accountant or solicitor and retrieve previous tax and related filings. Based on the data thus obtained, obtain the bank records of the deceased to find out information about investments, transactions, etc.

Income tax form 26AS (statement of tax deducted at source, or TDS) of the deceased can be downloaded to find out if there are any entries towards purchase or sale of immovable property. The TDS statements can also be checked for any interest payments in respect of FDs, dividends and other financial instruments.

For mutual funds and securities, NSDL and CDSL repositories provide a consolidated account statement (CAS) listing the securities and mutual funds based on the PAN of each individual. A formal request can be submitted in writing to the NSDL and CDSL to obtain these details.

Rohit Jain is the managing partner, Singhania & Co., and Keshav Singhania is the head – PCP, Singhania & Co.

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Updated: 07 November 2023, 09:34 PM IST

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