Forgotten investments are a big issue. A massive amount of money lies in banks, insurance companies and housing finance companies. It is more common amongst the older folks where they speak about the old share and deposit certificates they lost and forgot about them completely. This is the reason that the money lies unclaimed with financial institutions. The concerned companies and financial institutions, too, fail to locate investors or policyholders as contact details changes are not updated with the company. Also, once the original document is lost, it becomes difficult to claim the amount that is due to them.
You can reclaim your money even after 10 years, after following these steps:-
1) If an account has not been operated for 10 years, or any amount remains unclaimed for more than 10 years, it is transferred to the Reserve Bank of India’s Depositor Education and Awareness Fund Scheme
2) An investor can claim the money, or operate his account, even after such a long gap by approaching his bank
3) The bank will claim the money back from the fund
4) If no claim has been made for 10 years after maturity of a traditional insurance policy, the money gets transferred to the Senior Citizen Welfare Fund (SCWF)
5) This money can be claimed within the next 25 years by providing KYC details and providing authenticity.
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Sometimes, even after an asset in the form of investments is passed on by grandparents and parents, the nominees and legal heirs fail to claim them as they are not aware of the existence of those assets. It happens in the absence of a Will. As a countermeasure, the RBI has mandated that banks should publish details on their websites of accounts that have remained inoperative and inactive. It has directed the insurance companies also to update details of unclaimed funds on their websites.
In cases where your parents leave you a fortune but don’t assign you the nominee of any of the shares, the problems can increase. It can be an arduous task to obtain a succession certificate from a district court. One can take help from the asset recovery companies. The process broadly involves filing legal claims, tracing the investments, and approaching the concerned companies. Generally, in a situation where your parents passed away without appointing you the nominee of the bank account, then you will have to submit a succession certificate or legal heir certificate. The legal heir will have to produce other documents like KYC details and NOC from other legal heirs.
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In a situation where, as an investor, you have lost your share certificate and do not even remember the folio numbers of the holdings, then you should get in touch with the company directly. You will require to write down mentioning your personal details and provide the KYC documents. The company shall authenticate the applicant and then provide information about the holdings after going through the shareholding list.