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

Do I have any rights to the bank fixed deposit (FD) of my grandmother who died recently. It may be noted here that my mother died a long time ago and my uncles and aunts had not included me as a nominee for this FD. 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 the FD was inherited by your grandmother from her ancestors or if it was self acquired. If it is the latter, then the distribution will happen as per the will she has left or as per intestate succession, in the absence of will.

If the FD was inherited by her from her ancestors, then you may have a claim in the FD. Being a nominee only gives custodian rights not ownership of the FD. In case your claim is made out on the FD, then even if you are not a nominee, you will be entitled to receive your share in the FD.

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 by which the family can find out about his assets?

—Name withheld on request

There isn’t a single repository or system in India that provides information on every kind of asset or investment that a person owns. Therefore, it is very difficult to find out about the assets that the deceased would have purchased during lifetime.

The first step should be to speak with the chartered accountant or lawyer of the deceased and retrieve previous tax and related filings. Based on the details obtained thus, retrieve the bank records of the deceased to find out about investments, transactions, etc.

One can download the income tax form 26AS (statements on tax deducted at source, or TDS) of the deceased 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 towards FDs, dividends, and other financial instruments.

For mutual funds and securities, depositories NSDL and CDSL provide a consolidated account statement (CAS) that lists out the securities and mutual funds based on each individual’s PAN. One can submit a formal request in writing to the NSDL and CDSL to obtain these details.

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

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Updated: 07 Nov 2023, 09:34 PM IST

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