How To Tie Loose Ends After You Lose A Loved One

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How To Tie Loose Ends After You Lose A Loved One
How To Tie Loose Ends After You Lose A Loved One
OLM Desk - 01 January 2023

Getting over a loved one’s death is difficult and may take some time. However, there are certain loose ends that need to be tied soon after a person’s death, including putting some important documents in order, especially if you are legal heir. We tell you what these are and how to go about putting the documentation in place.

Certifcates To Obtain

Death Certificate: The deceased’s family member/legal heir will have to claim this from the local corporation. The family member will need to furnish documents of the deceased such as photo ID, own documents such as proof of identity, other certificates from doctors or hospitals, and cremation or burial certificate to establish the demise.

Surviving Members Certificate: This document just declares the names of the surviving family members, but not the    name of the successor. To get this, family members need to submit self-attested documents such as identity proof, original death certificate of the deceased issued by the local authority, ID proof of the deceased, affidavit of undertaking by the applicant and all the surviving family members.

Legal Heir Certificate: If the deceased dies intestate, then the heir/s have to file a petition in court along with a copy of the death certificate. This petition  also has to be published  in a newspaper. If no objections arises, the legal heir certificate is issued.

This certificate can help the legal heirs claim benefits from provident fund and pension, among others.

Succession Certificate: This document is required to transfer moveable or immoveable property in the legal heir’s name. This isn’t applicable in the case of immoveable assets. The process also results in the transfer of debts to the successors of the deceased. This, too, needs to be obtained from court after submission of the prescribed documents.

Tying Loose Ends

Filing Income Tax Returns: It is important to file the income tax return (ITR) after the death of a person. Unpaid taxes can be recovered from the legal heir to the extent of the inheritance.

To file the ITR, the legal heir has to log in to the income tax portal, apply for registration as a representative assessee of the deceased person, and submit the death certificate (along with other documents). Once the request is approved, e-filing can be done.

Intimating Financial Institutes: Legal heirs need to inform the bank about the account holder’s death in writing. After factual check and due diligence, the bank may debit freeze or freeze withdrawals from the deceased’s account. Even if the bank comes to know of the death from other sources, it may debit freeze the account.

If the deceased had a nominee, then the death claim from the bank will be settled to the nominee after obtaining the death certificate along with the death claim application and other documents. If there’s no nomination, the bank will ask for a legal heir certificate, or relationship certificate.

Even other financial institutions, such as mutual funds and brokerage houses where the deceased had invested, will need to be informed. Proper certification will be needed to withdraw the investments from these institutions too.

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