Q. I am almost 90 and my wife, 84. We have two sons who are U.S. citizens now. I have no immovable property and all my assets are in the form of deposits with banks and NFBCs. We have tentatively decided to divide the above equally between our sons. The problem is how can my sons get their shares repatriated to the U.S. after my time if I name them nominees on the deposits. I will, of course, prepare a will. Is this sufficient? My sons do not have any bank accounts in India. I asked them to get OCI cards. Is this sufficient? Need your guidance.


A. Since you now hold assets as financial investments transmission is simpler. Whether FDs with banks or NBFCs, please ensure all of them are duly nominated furnishing all necessary information. Get written acknowledgements of the nominations from the financial institutions and file them carefully. Meanwhile, please ensure you have made the appropriate provisions for your wife to access funds after your time or for yourself if she pre-deceases you. For this, please get specific advice from bank/NBFC on mode of operation of the FDs (former or survivor, either or survivor etc.) and also nomination options if the investment is single holding or joint.

Please maintain an updated list of all investments with details like constitution (joint/single) mode of operation, date of maturity and nomination for easy reference. Tell your family where you have kept them.

When the nomination takes effect, the bank or NBFC will make the payout to the nominee after verification.

For this, it would be simpler for your sons to have bank accounts in India. You can add them to your savings bank accounts as joint holders and/or they should open Non-Resident Ordinary Rupee (NRO) Accounts. Please get your bank’s advice on this. The OCI card is needed as identity (KYC) document.

Repatriating the money is a matter of procedure.

There could be annual or other limits depending on the law at the time of repatriation. Coming to the will, a will supersedes any nomination.

So, please ensure there are no anomalies or ambiguities between the two. A will also needs to be probated by the beneficiaries in court for a financial institution to give it effect and make the payout. Probate process takes 6 to 12 months, some effort and some expenditure on court fees and lawyers’ fees.

If handled correctly, proper nominations should achieve your objective in a simpler manner.

Q. I refer to “Covernote” in the issue of January 29. The article leaves me confused. In the case under discussion, is it the demat account or the RBI bonds which did not have a nomination? My specific follow up question is as follows:

I have a demat account with a depository participant (DP) with nomination. The account has shares of different companies. They do not have individual nominations.

Am I to understand from the article, the demat account nomination is not enough to get the shares in the demat account transferred to my nominee on my demise, and that each of these shares have to have separate nominations? A clarification will be greatly appreciated.


A. In the article of January 29, I emphasised on reviewing your nominations to be thorough. The example discussed there was RBI bonds purchased in demat form which did not have a nomination.

The demat account itself did. Our mistake was in thinking the latter would suffice. However, apparently, RBI bonds are not covered by the nomination in the demat account and each bond purchased has to be nominated offline using a hard copy application and getting an acknowledgment.

The case of shares in a demat account is different and their transmission is covered by the nomination in the demat account. In other words, there is no nomination for individual shares. If the shares are in material form, laws of succession apply.

(The writer is business journalist specialising in insurance, corporate history)