Fixed deposits have been preferred by Indians as a safe and reliable investment option for many decades due to the promise of a fixed return and low-risk factor.
It’s easy to open an FD account. You can even open one jointly or as a single holder. However, in some cases, the main holder of the FD may pass away before the maturity date. In such cases, knowing the right procedure to claim the principal amount and the accumulated interest is essential for one’s family members. But the claiming process differs depending on the type of account.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has instituted stringent regulations to be followed in case of the demise of the primary holder of a fixed deposit.
What is the Process to Claim a Fixed Deposit Amount?
The process for claiming a fixed deposit amount depends on the type of joint account the holder had. See the most common claim options in a joint FD:
- Former or Survivor:
The joint FD account of a former or a survivor holder can only be withdrawn by the second holder on the passing of the first holder. The said individual must provide documentation, like the first holder’s death certificate to avail of the funds. If both holders have deceased, then the nominee shall be authorised for fund withdrawal. If no nominee was assigned, the accessible FD amount could be obtained by the legal heirs.
- Latter or Survivor:
In the death of the first holder of a latter or survivor joint Fixed Deposit account, the second holder will become the prime holder and have control over its operations. If both the depositors have died, the nominee will receive the principal amount and the accumulated interest therein. In the absence of a nominee, the heirs of the deceased depositors will be eligible to claim the amount.
- Either or Survivor:
After the holder’s death, the balance remaining in the account will be paid out to the remaining account holders who are alive. If all the account holders have died, then the amount will be dispensed to the nominated individual. Without any nomination, the amount will be released to the legal heirs.
- Anyone or Survivor:
In this type of joint FD account, if there are multiple holders, then upon the account holder’s death, the balance available and the interest accumulated will be given to the surviving holders. If no nominees have been registered, the living depositors and legal heirs of the deceased holders will acquire the funds. Furthermore, if all account holders have died and no nominees have been nominated, the heirs will receive the remaining funds.
- Former or Survivor:
The process for claiming an amount from a fixed deposit account differs based on the different types. To know the process of a single-handled FD account, continue reading.
- With Nominations:
Nominees added to a single FD account must submit the account holder’s death certificate, alongside their proof of identity, to withdraw the available funds.
- Without Nominations:
In the event of no nominees being added to a single FD account, the heirs must submit the will or the succession certificate, along with the account holder’s death certificate, to gain access to the funds.
- With Nominations:
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How to Claim Fixed Deposit After Death?
At the time of opening a joint account, all joint account holders should agree to a mandate that allows to withdraw prematurely the FD in the case of the demise of an account holder. Only then would this be permitted. In instances where there are no survivors, the nominee can request to withdraw prematurely after providing the necessary documents.
If neither the survivors nor the nominees exist, then the heirs may request to withdraw the FD prematurely, provided that all prerequisites are met.
The appointees or legal successors may request the premature withdrawal of the fixed deposit account in the event of the death of its sole holder. Necessary requirements such as the death certificate, KYC documentation, and other documentation specified by the financial institution must be presented to close the account. Depending upon the time of the premature withdrawal, there may be a loss of interest accrued.
Documents for Claiming FD After the Holder’s Death
- When There’s a Nomination
- The account holder’s death certificate
- The nominee’s address proof, photo ID, and KYC documents
- The claim form
- When There’s No Nomination
- The deceased account holder’s death certificate
- The claim form
- The certificate of succession
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Can the nominee continue FD after death?
After the FD account holder’s death, the nominee can continue the FD account.
Can a nominee withdraw FD after the account holder’s death?
Upon the account holder’s death, if the FD is held solely by the individual, the nominee must present the account holder’s death certificate and photographic proof of their identity to access the funds.
Is it mandatory to get a nominee when opening an FD account?
Appointing a nominee is not mandatory; however, it is recommended to choose one so that, in the event of the investor’s death, the funds may be legally and conveniently transferred to the rightful beneficiary.
Can you get more than one nominee to the account?
You may not assign multiple nominees to a single Fixed Deposit (FD) account, be it a single or joint FD. Nevertheless, you may have distinct nominees for distinct FD accounts.
Do you need to provide a guarantee while claiming the deceased FD account?
Banks require assurance for the settlement of the deceased’s Fixed Deposit (FD) accounts if the claim exceeds their limit threshold.
How to disburse the deceased's FD account settlement?
To proceed with the settlement, claimants must provide the necessary documents and the beneficiary account information.