Steps a Legal Heir or Nominee Should Follow When a Fixed Deposit Holder Passes Away Before Maturity

Fixed deposits are the most popular investment option for Indian investors. A fixed deposit or FD account acts as a safe bet in a fluctuating interest rate regime, such as now. However, investors often invest in an FD without creating an emergency plan that can cater to extreme events, such as the FD holder’s death.

This blog simplifies the steps a deceased FD holder’s kin can do to claim the money lying in the FD holder’s account. It is worth mentioning that the best fixed deposit (FD) is the one that not only offers the best rates in India but also convenient withdrawal in case of an emergency. PNB Housing, for instance, offers doorstep service for its fixed deposit customers and has responsive customer care to help an investor or their family during the times of need.

Before going any further, explore a few facts about a nominee and why thebest fixed deposit you choose must always have a nominee.

Who is a Nominee and Why is Nomination Crucial?

Appointing a nominee is the most crucial part of an FD application. A nominee acts as the rightful owner of investments after the FD holder’s death. The nominee does not have any legal right to the investor’s money until the investor is alive. However, the nominee becomes the most responsible person in case the investor passes away before FD maturity. If the nominee is a minor, the investor needs to appoint a guardian who will be the custodian until the nominee reaches the age of 18. An investor may add a nominee to the best fixed deposit any time before its maturity.

What are the Various Modes of Holding?

You can invest in the best fixed deposit in either of the following ways:

Joint Holding

  • Anyone or Survivor – If an investor selects this mode, there is no need to close the account after the FD holder’s death, as the rights to the FD account will be transferred to the survivor, on submission of the death certificate.
  • Joint – In this mode, both holders share equal rights, which means the survivor has to produce the deceased investor’s death certificate and request a name transfer. However, in case both FD holders die, the nominee will receive the amount.

Single Holding

  • Single With Nomination – If the person investing in the best fixed deposit has included a nominee, the nominee will get the amount as the custodian. After a few legal clearances, the amount will be transferred to the nominee’s account.
  • Single Without Nomination – If the FD holder did not mention a nominee, the legal heir would have to prove that s/he is the rightful heir and claim the amount.

Documents Needed to Claim FD Amount (FD With Nomination)

While claiming the money from an account with a nomination, the nominee needs to submit documents like the claim form (available with the financial institution), death certificate of the FD holder, and ID and address proof of the nominee.

Documents Needed to Claim FD Amount (FD Without Nomination)

To claim the money from an FD account without a nomination, the legal heir needs to prove their legality of the claim. The nominee may submit a succession certificate and indemnity bond. The financial institution generally guides the legal heir.


When you invest in the best fixed deposit or FD offering the highest rates in India, you can earn more than the average. However, not including a nominee in your application form can make withdrawal difficult. Hence, always decide your nominee(s) before investing in the best fixed deposit.

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