Here is how you can find the Gold Pot left behind by the deceased parents or spouse or no matter by someone for whom you are the legal heir.
You would be wondering that this is possible only if you were Aladdin & you had a Jinni! Quite a logical thought! However, a recent experience with a friend and how her consistent efforts to get the money that was hers, changed my thoughts and I started scouting through each and every file, each and every paper, each and every investment done by me and my father! Believe me; this exercise may help you find the ‘Gold Pot’ left behind by your parents!
My friend Shreya’s father died an untimely death and like a usual scenario, the family was unaware about the finances and investments! After a lot of struggle and days of scouting through each and every paper, each and every file the family got hold of some investments being done by the father. This is quite a likely situation with most of the women or children around us who have been left behind by the earning members. Shreya did recover her money after a tremendous hardwork of six months however one thought kept haunting her mind; What if there were more such investments that they were not aware of!
Now let me tell you, how can you find the Gold Pot left behind by the deceased parents or spouse or no matter by someone for whom you are the legal heir.
7 ways to recover your ‘Gold Pot’:
1. Bank Account or Bank Deposits:
The Reserve Bank of India has mandated banks to publish a list of inactive or inoperative accounts for 10 years or more on the bank’s website. It is possible for the depositor or legal heir to claim such amounts by searching first on these criterions ; Name and date of birth/ Name and PAN/ Name and passport number / Name and Pincode / Name and telephone number. In case of claim by a legal heir, he needs to visit the nearest branch and submit the unclaimed deposits claim form. The form needs to be accompanied with valid identity and address proof of the claimant. Copy of death certificate of deceased account holder.
2. Unclaimed / unpaid dividends:
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has issued a circular where listed companies have to identify and upload details of unclaimed dividend on their website. So, yes tedious, but you shall have to visit the listed companies website and search for your parents’ details under unclaimed / unpaid dividend section. Detailed information is provided for the benefit of shareholders or legal heirs on this link. Alternatively you may write letters and emails to registrars like Karvy, Link Intime, Bigshare etc. Mention name, Pan No., Bank account number, email id & correspondence address.
3. Mutual Funds:
Luckily in India for mutual funds, majorly there are only three registrars, Karvy, CAMS and Templeton. You have to just write to these three with details of deceased member and ask for help to find out, if some investments done by the deceased earning member and once the positive the process to get the claim is not so complex.
CDSL/NSDL are the two main depositories in India and now a days they send consolidated account statement of all demat shares, mutual funds & insurance and offline mutual funds. Writing to these might also help to find out where all the deceased earning members were having share trading accounts.
5. Post office investments , PPF and EPF:
For EPF it is very easy to approach the employers of deceased earning member and ask for the details. But of PPF, RDs and other post office investments, maximum you can visit to nearby post offices where ever your parents stayed during life or had office. You might get some clue by doing this activity.
6. Insurance policies:
There are 35 life insurance companies in India. Draft a letter format and simply change the name and addresses of these companies and submit in respective branches locally in your city, preferably, personally. In the process take the number of each branch manager or person to whom you have met. Don’t forget to take acknowledgement on duplicate copy as a proof. Yes now for a few months you need to follow up over phone as in India yet there is no central depository to get this information.
7. Last but not the least, check each and every paper and document received by post! Also check some posts received at your old correspondent address! We seldom forget to change our addresses with these companies.
We were inspired by Shreya’s journey and we wish everyone puts in such efforts to recover their hard earned money. However, we would like to advise the bread earner of the family to simplify the lives of their family members by ensuring that the family gets complete access and a smooth transfer of assets in such times of need and emergency. For this he may simply subscribe a service which helps the dependents in getting ownership claim of all the financial assets after the death of the earning member.( The author is CEO & Co-Founder of FinPeace Technologies)