The unclaimed bank deposit is the deposit amount of a deceased person that was left unclaimed from the bank.

The usual circumstances when a person dies, is to report the death to the authority of the bank and claim the amount of the dead person’s account. The two things the bank takes into hold are:

● If the bank account is joint (means that have survivor clause); single account (no survivorship clause but have a nominee)
● If the account has no nominee

How do we claim?

RBI made a press release to not make any hardship for the claimant and settle the claim within 15 days’ time.
For a joint account, the co-account holder is eligible to run the amount or withdraw the money. The same goes when there is a nominee and the nominee/legal heir has ATM access to the deceased account holder, the money can be withdrawn. Or the nominee/legal heir can claim the amount by producing the death certificate and copy of the ID proof of the deceased.

The other documents required:
● The deceased account holder original passbook
● PAN card
● ID proof
● Death certificate
● ID proof and address of the nominee
● ATM card and cheque book (if the holder hold)

When the nominee is absent or not registered, or when the account is single and has no joint account holder and the account holder died intestate without any Will, then the legal heir shall claim the amount. The documents required:

● Death certificate (photocopy)
● Address proof, ID proof of the legal heirs
● Revised Claim Form
● Declaration in the Revised Claim Form
● Letter of indemnity

Another Scenario

There is a possibility where the legal heirs of the deceased account holder have no idea of the deceased having a bank account. The banks follow the RBI guideline regulation that states, if any of the deposit bank account is not in operation for more than 10 years, then the deposit amount in the bank account shall be directly transferred to the Depositors Education and Awareness Fund (DEAF) and it is introduced in the year 2014 by the RBI, DCBR.BPD.(PCB/RCB).Cir.No.18/13.01.000/2014-15

Yearly, many of the bank accounts go unclaimed and thousands of crores money transferred to the Fund. But RBI has the regulation given to the banks to provide details of the unclaimed accounts in their respective websites so that when the legal heir of the deceased account holder comes to the knowledge of the bank account, can claim the amount.

The unclaimed bank details can be viewed in websites after providing the details required or asked in the criteria of the website like DOB, Passport No, PAN No.

Procedures to claim unclaimed deposits:
The legal heir, who wants to claim, fill and submit the unclaimed deposits claim form. After the thorough verification by the bank authorities, the amount will be settled or as per the request of the claimant, the bank account shall be brought back to operation.

The information needed to fill out the unclaimed deposit claimant form:
● Details of the claimant
● Address and contact number of the claimant
● Account number
● The capacity of the claimant to the deceased a/c holder
● DOB, Passport No, PAN No., and contact number
● Other relevant documents to prove the capacity/authenticity.

1. Ms. Roohi Babu, B.SC., B.L., (Hons), Advocate practicing at Madras High Court, with 5 years of experience in IPR and Family matters.
2. Angujanani. G, 4th Year student of BBA, LLB (Hons) at Saveetha School of Law, SIMATS, Chennai.


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