With unclaimed deposits of over Rs 35,000 crore across public sector banks, it’s tough to track such deposits. Today, you have to go to each bank website to check if you and your family members have any unclaimed deposits.
Today, if you wish to find out whether you or any of your family members have an unclaimed amount with any bank, you need to check for this on the website of each bank individually. You have to key in a few basic details such as the account holder’s name, address, date of birth, or PAN etc to check if there is an unclaimed amount. You do not need to know the account number for this.
The search can be cumbersome especially if you are searching for unclaimed amounts in the name of a deceased family member. In many such cases, you may not even be aware of all the bank accounts that the deceased person held on the date of his demise.
Some banks also put out a list of names and addresses of customers with inoperative accounts and unclaimed deposits.
A centralised portal will make it easier for a family to search for their unclaimed deposits provided the portal is user-friendly with a capability to search using multiple parameters such as name, PAN, date of birth, city etc
How to make a claim?
To claim the money where the sole account holder has passed away, the nominee must submit the claims form, the notarised death certificate of the account holder (along with the original death certificate) and the claimant’s own KYC documents. In case of the demise of one of the joint account holders, the bank will delete the name of the deceased from the account or open a fresh account in favour of the surviving account holder after a review of the documents submitted.
In the absence of a nominee, the RBI (vide its circular dated June 9, 2005) has laid out a simplified claims process. If the deceased accountholder has left a will, then a probate is required from a competent court, otherwise, the claimant can provide any of the following documents: an heirship certificate or a succession certificate or a letter of administration. That said, as per this circular, for claims below a certain amount, the RBI has instructed the banks not to insist on any of these documents. It has been left to the discretion of each bank to decide on this limit.
There is no time limit for filing such a claim as the family/ heirs may come across some evidence many years after the death of the account holder. However, a bank must settle any such request within 15 days of the claim being filed. But before you can file a claim, furnishing the relevant documents itself can be a time-consuming process.
In case of unclaimed deposits with the DEAF, you can file a claim with the concerned bank. Banks are obliged to pay the claimant the outstanding amount in the account along with interest after evaluation of the claim request. But the claims process can be complex if the account does not have a nominee.