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Nomination Or Will – What You Need To Claim Ownership?


Whenever we go to the bank for opening a bank account, banks always ask you to enter the details of the nominee. Same happens in lot other cases like buying an insurance policy etc. But do we actually understand the meaning of a nominee, all we understand is in case of death of the original owner, nominee (if any) of that asset will become the new owner.

But this is not true, as nomination doesn’t give the right of ownership on the assets of the original owner after his/ her death. Nomination only allows nominee to receive the assets from the financial institution in case of death of the original owner. (Except in case of Shares where nominee become the owner of the shares after the death of the original owner.)

Today most of the financial institutions are offering nomination facility whether it be a bank, insurance company, mutual fund companies, EPF etc. The purpose of offering this service is to make the owner of the asset identify the person who he wish to take the custody of his assets in case of his death.

Which means nominee is one who can claim to receives the assets of the deceased from the institution wherein the asset was deposited but can not claim to be the owner of the same.

It simply means nominating someone for an asset is not enough to transfer ownership rights to the nominee.

nominee or legal heir


Nominee OR Legal Heir

In the absence of ‘Will’ nominee is supposed to share the asset received with other legal heir. If that doesn’t happen, legal heirs can take legal step to get there share. Whereas if Will transfers that asset to a particular person then nominee have to keep that asset in a trust until the new owner get the same transferred in his/ her name.

For Example

While opening bank account Mr. X nominated his daughter as his nominee but as per the ‘Will’ the money deposited in the bank account of Mr. X should go to his son after his death. So, in this case Mr. X daughter can claim and receive the money from the bank but cannot spend the same for her personal use. She will have to transfer to the money to his brother as per the Will.

What Is A Will?

Will is a legal document which actually describes the ownership rights on the property of the deceased.

How to prepare a Will?
  • It can be either on a plain paper or stamp paper.
  • It can either be hand written or typed.
  • It should be written in a simple language for easy understanding.
  • Prior advice of trusted advocate will be a better choice.
  • You should appoint one person as an ‘Executor’ of the Will who will ensure the distribution of assets according to the Will.
  • Sign the Will papers in front of at least two people who will attest the Will and sign the same as witness. Witness should not be a part of the Will as beneficiary.
  • Will should be properly dated, numbered & signed by the one who is creating it and witnesses.
  • Create copies of the original Will and secure the original Will at a safe place.
  • You can create a new Will anytime. New Will will make the old will Null and void.
  • Registration of Will is not compulsory, but doing the same will make the Will document more powerful.
  • The Will document will become operative immediately after the death of the Testator (The one who created the Will).

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