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If the first account holder of a fixed deposit dies, who will become the owner of the account? Is it the second account holder or all the legal heirs of the first account holder?

—Name withheld on request

 

As your query is silent on the type of joint account for the fixed deposits, we assume it to be ‘either or survivor’. It is common for joint fixed deposits to be opened with a ‘survivorship clause’. In such cases, upon a deposit holder’s demise, the balance is paid to the survivor. In case there is no survivorship clause and one of the deposit-holders passes away, then banks would pay amounts jointly to the surviving deposit holder and the legal heirs of the deceased.

 

What is the law regarding the amendment of an unregistered gift deed of movable property? As in, the movable property herein is of shares/debentures and hence the gift deed was not registered. What is the law regarding the fact that I need to change a few details from the gift deed? Under what provision can I do it?

—Name withheld on request

 

In India, the law relating to gifts is broadly governed by the provisions of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, and the Indian Contact Act, 1872. Regarding a potential amendment, you should first see the actual document itself, to see if it contains any provisions regarding the process for amendment, e.g. all parties to mutually agree to any amendments in writing. If so, the contractual procedure would need to be followed. If not, then by way of a practical approach, the parties to the gift deed may collectively sign a deed of amendment to the gift deed, containing the revised details, and acknowledge the lack of a formal amendment clause. As you mentioned the deed is unregistered, the amendment would not need to be registered either, but speak to your attorney to understand the consequences of non-registration.

Rishabh Shroff is partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.

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