• Sister name bank account

Joint account opened a decade ago in Chennai between my sister and my mother (it as in my sister name before marriage)

Post marriage her name was changed and she moved out to Maharastra as her husband was working there . however we didnot make changes in the bank account held in chennai as it was joint account.

Now recently we wanted to make those changes however my sister got sick due to cancer and later expired in Oct'22. 

Now the joint account in chennai recently post COVID in 2020 got frozen as there was limited to no transactions in a given quarter, 

When we approached the bank they said they need the proof of the account holders .
I have shared Aadhar and PAN of my mother (first joint holder) however my sister name in the account is her name before marriage and hence we have proof for that like her school certificate / old Ration card. 
I have shared the marriage certificate of my sister which was issued in Maharastra (as it took place there) .Since my sister is no more we are unable to approach the gazette for a name change . 
We have shared these details with the bank and they are yet to get back to us

My concern is we have Rs2 Lakhs frozen in that account since 2022 and the funds were kept as my sister was undergoing treatment and we would need money for emergency just incase for managing the hospital bills.Please advice ...
Asked 11 months ago in Property Law
Religion: Hindu

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8 Answers

Per Joint Bank Account rules on death, the other joint account holder can operate the account upon the demise of the primary account holder.


2) Most joint bank accounts include automatic rights of survivorship, which means that after one account signer dies, the remaining signer (or signers) retain ownership of the money in the account. The surviving primary account owner can continue using the account, and the money in it, without any interruptions.



the payment of the balance in the deposit account to the survivor(s)/nominee of a deceased deposit account holder represents a valid discharge of the bank's liability provided:


a. the bank has exercised due care and caution in establishing the identity of the survivor(s) / nominee and the fact of death of the account holder, through appropriate documentary evidence;
b. there is no order from the competent court restraining the bank from making the payment from the account of the deceased; and
c. it has been made clear to the survivor(s) / nominee that he would be receiving the payment from the bank as a trustee of the legal heirs of the deceased depositor, i.e., such payment to him shall not affect the right or claim which any person may have against the survivor(s) / nominee to whom the payment is made.

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
94932 Answers
7574 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Let bank to revert and then decide future course. You can get issued a certificate from a gazetted officer to the effect that both names of your sister belong to one person i.e. your sister. 

Siddharth Srivastava
Advocate, Delhi
1252 Answers

5.0 on 5.0

As the bank account stands in the joint names of your mother and sister who is since deceased, first your mother needs to inform the bank about your sister's death in writing, attaching a copy of her death certificate. The balance in the account shall be paid jointly to the legal heirs of your deceased sister and your mother, and not to your mother alone. The bank may insist on a succession certificate in respect of your deceased sister. Please comply with the bank's procedure regarding settlement of death claims.

Swaminathan Neelakantan
Advocate, Coimbatore
2821 Answers
20 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

You can give application to bank to unfreeze it if not find approach court of law

Prashant Nayak
Advocate, Mumbai
32077 Answers
183 Consultations

4.1 on 5.0

First of all confirm if the bank has refused to oblige your mother from withdrawing the money held in the joint account.

If it was a either or survivor account, then the bank should not insist on the survivor's request to withdraw the amount.

You follow it up with the bank, if they give in writing refusing to accept your request for the reasons stated therein you may issue a legal notice through a lawyer and demand the requisite act to be done immediately failing which you can either approach banking ombudsman or consumer forum for relief

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
85133 Answers
2218 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Dear Client,

First, check if the bank has refused to allow your mother to withdraw money from the joint account. If the account is a "survivorship" account, the bank should not require the survivor to provide any additional documentation to withdraw the funds.

If the bank has refused your mother's request, you should follow up with them to get a written explanation of their decision. If the bank's explanation is not satisfactory, you may want to consider issuing a legal notice through a lawyer. The notice should demand that the bank allow your mother to withdraw the funds immediately. If the bank does not comply with the notice, you may be able to file a complaint with the banking ombudsman or a consumer forum.


Anik Miu
Advocate, Bangalore
9020 Answers
110 Consultations

4.7 on 5.0

You may approach the bank with the death certificate of your sister and the proofs of her earlier name, like SSC certificate, AAdhaar cards etc, and the proof that she had changed the name after marriage. You have to anyhow satisfied the bank that both the names are of your sister who has expired and thus your mother is entitled to operate the bank account. 

Dalbir Bharti
Advocate, Gurgaon
41 Answers

Not rated

- Since, your mother is joint holder in that account , then she can move an application before the said bank to activate that account after submitting her daughters death certificate , and any proof earlier to her marriage  

- Further, if the bank refused then either you can approach the ombudsman or to file a petition before the court. 

- However , your mother  can also approach online to the RBI as well. 

Mohammed Shahzad
Advocate, Delhi
13362 Answers
199 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

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