How family or heirs can trace the property of a deceased person | Job Binary


Family members or legal heirs of the deceased can start by searching for any physical records or consult their Chartered Accountant (CA) or tax advisor. Otherwise, they can rely on the deceased’s Income Tax Return (ITR) or Annual Information Statement (AIS). But, these require access to that person’s mobile phone and PAN. If you don’t have PAN, is there a way? According to Nadiya Sarguroh, Principal Partner, MZM Legal, LLP, one way to do this is to apply for re-issuance of the PAN card of the deceased as his legal heir. “As there is no defined process for re-issuance of deceased’s PAN card, this application is rejected. If it is rejected, you can approach the courts with writ jurisdiction to direct the IT authorities to re-issue the PAN of the deceased to the family members,” says Sarguroh.

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Physical documents and IDs: One can start by searching the house for the deceased’s bank passbooks or check books, diaries with notes or bank and other investment documents like PAN card and bank locker keys—all of which can come in handy for tracing assets.

“We have seen that even relatively less organized people tend to keep all their clutter (documents) in one place. Be it a drawer, a box or a shelf, they have one place to keep everything,” says Vishal Dhawan, founder and CEO, Plan Ahead Wealth Advisors. Past bank statements can provide mine information on income, expenses and investments, including interest. Income from deposits and dividend from shares. Getting access to the bank account, however, depends on whether the claimant is a nominee or not.

CA/Tax Advisor: Another important source of information is the deceased person’s CA or tax advisor. “A CAU may contain more details about an individual’s investment. They can provide clues on bank accounts, type of income filed in Income Tax Return (ITR), which can be used to trace investments made,” says Nishant Agarwal, Senior Managing Partner, CFP – Advisory, ASK Private Wealth.

ITR: If the deceased is filing returns on his own, family members can try to access the deceased’s tax returns on the Income Tax (IT) portal.

Neeraj Agarwala, partner, Nangia Andersen India, says knowing the deceased person’s PAN and having access to their mobile phone is essential. “If the deceased has registered and filed returns in the IT portal, the ITR details can be accessed from the portal by logging in with the PAN. The password can be reset on the IT portal by generating an OTP sent to the mobile number linked with Aadhaar.

AIS: According to Agarwal, AIS can be a comprehensive source of information, although as the system is still in its infancy there may be some issues with the information provided. AIS provides information on transactions like asset purchases, interest income from savings accounts, fixed deposits (FDs) and other investments, dividends, sale and purchase of shares and mutual fund (MF) units. For example, it is related to property. Displays details like purchases, AIS property address and payment date and amount. For interest on bank savings and FD accounts, one will be able to see the amount credited, bank name and account number.

MF Investments: Legal heirs, secondary holders or nominees can claim these investments. The process of transferring MFs to the name of the deceased is easy when the survivor has the PAN card number and folio numbers of all investments of the deceased.

But what happens if the survivor is not aware of MF investments? If the survivor has access to the deceased’s email account or phone messages to access the OTPs, the process is easy and stress-free. In this case, a Consolidated Account Statement (CAS) can be generated using the email address and details of all MF investments linked to that email can be obtained. (Go to https://www.camsonline.com/Investors/Statements/Consolidated-Account-Statement. )

In a scenario where no will exists and the survivor does not have access to the deceased’s CA, investment advisor and lawyer, the process of tracing MF investments can take some time and effort.

Besides the death certificate and proof of relationship with the deceased, the process of tracing and transferring MFs is simple if you have access to the PAN card number, email address and phone number of the deceased.

Investments in MFs in India are handled by three RTAs – CAMS, KFintech and Franklin Templeton. Each RTA has a list of AMCs under it. So, you need to contact all the RTAs to trace the investments. Surviving claimants should first approach the RTA with the death certificate and proof of relationship with the deceased. “We check the investor’s death first to prevent any fraudulent claims,” ​​a CAMS spokesperson explained. After verifying the same, RTAs help the remaining claimants to trace the MF holdings with the help of PAN card, email address and personal details. of the deceased.

“Sometimes the PAN card may not be linked with the investments and hence we take the extra step of checking the registered address for any investments existing in the same name and not linked with the PAN or email address. Our dedicated transmission helpdesk specializes in such hand-holding,” added a CAMS spokesperson.

Basically, the claimant has to visit the nearest RTA branch to initiate the transmission process. A well-documented process is not available online or there are no such guidelines for tracing investments if the claimant has no knowledge or access to email addresses and phone messages. After the RTAs confirm the death of the investor and the genuineness of the claimant, they facilitate access to the list of all investments made by the deceased and initiate the transmission process.

shares: To trace the stock holdings (held in demat form) of a deceased person, one crucial piece of information you need is – with which broker / bank the deceased held a demat account. To find out who the broker / bank is, you need to have access to the email id or at least the mobile phone of the deceased. If you have the latter, you can search through SMS to retrieve this information. Then, you should approach the broker / bank with the transfer request form and relevant documents.

Alternatively, access to the deceased’s bank statements may be helpful. Any share purchase / sale transactions through the joint trading account will be reflected in the linked bank account statements. Note, AIS also shows stock holdings, it does not show the name of the depositor.

(Sebi-registered investment adviser Namrata Patel contributed to this story.)

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