Is it enough to appoint nominees for your bank accounts/shares? Do I still need to make a Will? To find out the answers, read on.
You may have come across situations where your bank or insurer has asked you for a nominee for a bank account or insurance policy. What effect does this have? Is this the same as transferring such bank accounts or policies by way of writing a Will? The answer is no.
When you nominate someone for your bank account, insurance policies, or shares held by you, it gives the bank/ insurer/company a convenient way to determine what to do with the balance in your account, the proceeds of your insurance policy and your shares upon your death.
This means that such amounts will be transferred to your nominee without asking for a succession certificate or verifying claims of legal heirs. However, your nominee holds these amounts in trust for the beneficiaries in your Will or your natural heirs, in case you have not made a Will. Therefore, the nominee will not be the owner of the amounts if you have mentioned that you want the shares to go to someone else.
Let us take an example: suppose your Will provides that the money in your bank account should go to your wife, and the nomination has your son’s name, the shares will be transferred to your son upon your death. However, your son would hold these shares for your wife – who can get them transferred to her own name based on your Will. Your son has no right to sell or transfer or gift these shares to anyone else. Therefore, generally speaking, a Will prevails over a nomination.
It is important to note that a Will is not a substitute for nomination and neither is a nomination a substitute for making a Will. The ideal situation is where the name of the nominee and the beneficiary under the Will to whom you give the property as one and the same person.
This is a guest post by the Akosha team (www.akosha.com), a company which provides online/offline legal support services
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