Is a nominee same as a legal heir?


Is a nominee same as a legal heir?


Nominee is like a trusty who will look after your financial accounts, assets and instruments after you are gone from his world. A nominee can be best described as a sort of a caretaker for your financial assets. A nominee can be the same person as a legal heir as mentioned in the will of the deceased. So if you have not made a will and just think that appointing a nominee will suffice, think again as if you do not make a will the legal heirs will be decided as per the succession laws and the nominee alone will not be considered as the legal heir.


Hi Sohini,

Technically speaking, a nominee is just a custodian. They are people who have the responsibility of ensuring that the legal heir of an asset such as a Fixed Deposit, gets the asset or money from it. While there may be times when the nominee is the same as the legal heir, their status as nominee means that they don’t really ‘own’ the money.

Who is a legal heir?

A legal heir, simply put, is a person defined by a will and testament as the person who should receive the benefits of the deceased’s estates.

But what happens if no will has been created?

In such cases, legal heirs may be decided based on prevailing laws of inheritance in India.

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BB Expert