How to inherit financial assets

Inherit financial assets: Making an inheritance is a  standard procedure. But depending on what exactly is inherited, nuances and complexities may appear in it. We will figure out how to get the rights to bank deposits and accounts of the testator, as well as how to inherit stocks, bonds, investment units and even pension savings.

Who can inherit financial assets?

In inheritance matters, a will decides a lot. If the owner of the property decided to independently distribute his assets among relatives, he could draw up and certify a will before a notary. Perhaps he even gave a copy of this document to future heirs in advance.

Sometimes heirs are indicated in an agreement with a financial institution. For example, a person could immediately enter into the insurance policy the recipient of the money to whom the company must pay the sum insured in the event of the death of the insured.

When a client opens a bank deposit or account, he has the right to leave a testamentary disposition. It prescribes who will have access to the money in the event of the death of the owner. A testamentary disposition has the same force as a will. But it concerns only a specific deposit or account, and it does not need to be certified by a notary.

If there is a conflict between the will and the testamentary disposition, the document that was executed last shall apply. For example, grandfather entered his grandson Sasha into his testamentary order on his contribution, and then he executed a will with a notary and indicated his granddaughter Natasha as the heir to the same contribution. Since the testamentary disposition was written earlier, it will automatically become invalid. The contribution will be received by Natasha.

Even if there is a will, a part of the inheritance can be received by those who do not appear in it, but are entitled to a mandatory share. Read more about this in the material on registration of inheritance.

If a person has not left any instructions either in a will, or in an agreement, or in a testamentary disposition, the inheritance is divided according to the law – in turn, according to the degree of kinship. The first priority is parents and children, a spouse. The second is sisters and brothers, grandparents. There are seven queues in total, which you can learn about from the material on entering into an inheritance.

In this case, the spouse or spouse is usually entitled to half of the financial assets, including money in a bank account and securities. These assets are considered jointly acquired property if several conditions are met:

  • The testator put money in the bank or bought securities during the marriage.
  • There was no marriage contract that would cancel the joint ownership of these accounts, deposits and papers.
  • The testator acquired the financial assets himself, and did not receive them by inheritance or as a gift. For example, if the parents opened a deposit in his name or bequeathed to him a package of securities, then this is considered personal, and not jointly acquired property.

The remaining half of the assets is divided among all heirs according to the will or according to the law in the order of priority. The spouse of the testator may also claim his share in the distribution of this part of the property.

Therefore, you first need to find out what assets your loved one owned and whether he left an order – to whom to transfer these assets.

How to find out what the testator owned?

It is necessary to contact a notary and open an inheritance file, and no later than six months from the date of death of the testator. You can read about what documents are needed for this and what to do if there are several heirs in the article ” How to issue an inheritance “.

It is the notary who will collect information about the assets of the deceased.

Information about accounts and deposits of a person is a banking secret. Even after the death of the owner, banks are not entitled to disclose it to everyone. Registrars and depositories that store information about the owners of securities may also not disclose this data.

Certificates of accounts and deposits of the deceased can only be requested by the notary who conducts the inheritance case, or by the person indicated in the testamentary order. Do not believe the advertisements of dubious organizations that promise to find people’s deposits and accounts – these are scammers.

If a loved one left a will or kept a list of their financial assets, finding them will not be difficult.

If not, the notary will have to look for them. To speed up the search, the heirs should bring to the notary all the financial documents that they can collect. These can be agreements with a bank, a non-state pension fund or an insurance company , as well as with  financial organizations that operate in the securities market.

Grab whatever documents you can find, such as bank statements and account statements. With some financial institutions, for example, with a  registrar , there may not be an agreement. But the extract will help to understand in which company the property is located.

In addition to money, securities and other property, the heirs assume the debts of the deceased or part of them. Therefore, instruct the notary to request the testator’s credit history . So you will know exactly what loans and loans you can get along with the property of the deceased.

If you are not aware of which financial institutions the deceased was a client of, the first thing to do is to ask the notary to send inquiries to large and popular banks and financial companies.

Often people take out loans and issue credit cards in those banks where they have already opened an account or deposit. Perhaps, with the help of the credit history of the deceased, you will be able to find not only his debts, but also accounts or deposits.

Instruct the notary to contact the insurance companies in your city to find out if there are any valid insurance policies in the name of your loved one.

If you know that he invested in securities, you can ask the notary to send requests to the depository and registrars.

You need to contact the Pension Fund of Russia on your own to find out where the pension savings of the deceased are stored.

In addition, it is worth instructing the notary to request information from the Federal Tax Service. There he will be able to clarify what property the testator had and what are the official sources of his income.

When the financial assets of the deceased are found, the notary will include them in the estate.

Inherited property is not taxed, but you will need to pay a state estate duty.

Please note that the notary charges an additional fee for the search for assets. And the amount depends, among other things, on the number of requests that he will have to send out.

Now let’s take a closer look at the features of inheritance of different types of financial assets.

How to inherit bank accounts and deposits?

You can get access to money and valuables only after the notary issues you a certificate of inheritance.

You need to come to the bank with this certificate and passport. Some banks may ask you to present other documents:

  • a copy of the death certificate;
  • will (if any);
  • documents confirming your relationship with the testator;
  • details of your account for money transfer.

It is better to check with the bank for a complete list of required documents.

If you inherit a deposit that has not yet expired, it is not necessary to close it immediately. After all, with early termination of the contract, interest is most often lost. The new owner, like the previous one, can wait until the end of the deposit period and then take the entire amount along with the accumulated income.

Without a certificate of inheritance , you can get some funds from the testator’s bank account to organize a funeral. But for this you need a notary’s decision.

For minors, there is a special procedure for inheriting money on bank accounts and deposits. You can read more about this in the article ” How to issue an inheritance “.

Features of the inheritance of values ​​that are stored in a bank cell

In general, the procedure is the same: the notary sends a request to the bank. The bank reports what is stored in the cell . When you receive a certificate of inheritance, with this document and your passport, you need to come to the bank and pick up the property.

It is important to keep in mind that the bank may ask for proof that the valuables in the safe belonged to its tenant. But this requirement is permissible only if such a condition is specified in the cell lease agreement.

Thus, banks insure themselves against the risk that a person kept not only his own, but also other people’s things in a cell. If the real owner shows up later, the bank will be in trouble. According to the court decision, the bank will be obliged to return the property to the owner or compensate for its value. Therefore, sometimes banks reinsure themselves and leave the thing for indefinite storage if the heirs do not have proof of ownership.

How to inherit securities and money in an account with a broker or trustee?

Your loved one could keep money not only in bank deposits, but also invest in securities:  stocks ,  bonds ,  investment fund units and other stock market  instruments  .

Securities are bought through a trustee,  broker  or management company. If you can find an agreement with a financial institution, the notary will find out what securities the testator owned and where exactly they are stored. And also finds out if the money is left in his account.

As a rule, the notary issues to each of the heirs two certificates of the right to inheritance: one for securities, the other for money.

In order to receive the money of the deceased, you need to contact a broker or trustee with a passport and a certificate of inheritance, when it is issued by a notary.

With securities, the procedure is slightly different. They are usually held in  custody accounts with  depositories . In addition, shares and investment units can be recorded on  personal accounts in registers maintained by registrars or specialized depositories of unit investment funds (UIFs).

The broker, trustee or management company will inform the notary in which organization the papers of your loved one appear. After that, you need to ask the notary to send there a certified copy of the death certificate of the owner of the securities. The depositary or registrar will immediately block transactions with securities until they pass to a new owner. Sometimes accounts are blocked even earlier – immediately after the notary’s request.

When you receive a certificate of inheritance, you will need to contact the depositary or registrar to re-register the securities for yourself.

What to do if the contract with the broker or managers could not be found?

There are two options. The first is to ask the notary to send requests to well-known brokers and management companies. They will answer if your loved one was their client and if they have his assets.

The second is to send requests directly to depositories and registrars. Depositories can report immediately about all the securities that are on the depo account of a particular person.

If you know what shares the testator bought, then the notary can start searching for them with the registrar who maintains a register of the owners of these shares. The name of the registrar and its coordinates are published on the website of the issuer – the company that issued the shares.

If you know that your loved one has purchased shares of a certain mutual fund, then the notary can contact the specialized depository of this mutual fund. Depository data can be found on the website of the management company of the mutual fund.

If you are sure that the testator invested money in the stock market, but do not know what kind of shares, bonds, shares or other securities he owned, you can instruct the notary to request this information from all registrars and depositaries.

How to transfer securities to yourself?

In order to re-register the papers for himself, the heir must provide the depositary or registrar with documents: a certificate of inheritance and a passport.

The depository or registrar will open a depo account or a personal account in the register (if the heir has not opened such an account earlier) for the new owner and transfer securities to it.

It should be borne in mind that a fee will be charged for opening and maintaining a custody account, as well as for transferring securities from the testator’s account to the account of the heir.

How to divide securities if their number is not divisible by the number of heirs?

Bonds, shares and other securities cannot be divided into parts at the request of the owners. For example, the deceased had 55 shares, two heirs, but no will. The heirs will not be able to receive 27.5 shares each.

There are several options. The easiest is to agree even before the notary writes out certificates of inheritance. One heir can receive an “extra” share, and the second can add money to his share of the inheritance for half of its value.

The second option: after receiving a certificate of the right to inheritance, draw up a special agreement on the division of property with a notary. In this agreement, you can prescribe who and how many shares will get.

If both heirs do not plan to sell the securities yet, they can open an account with the registrar or depository to record the right of common shared ownership and transfer all shares to it.

After that, you can sell the “extra” share and divide the money, and divide the rest of the papers equally and transfer them to the personal accounts of the heirs. But it is worthwhile to find out in advance the commissions of the depositary and the fee that the registrar takes for transferring securities from one account to another.

Can I inherit a life insurance policy payout?

When applying for a life insurance policy, the client can specify in the contract who will receive the insurance payment in the event of his death. Then the payment will not fall into the composition of the inheritance. Other heirs (who are not mentioned in the contract) cannot claim it either by will or by law in the order of succession.

If the recipients of money (beneficiaries) are specified in the contract, then  by law they must inform the insurance company about this within a month after the death of the policyholder. Sometimes a longer term may be specified in the contract. If you do not have time to notify the insurance company in time, it has the right to refuse payment.

If the owner of the policy did not indicate the beneficiaries or they are not alive, the heirs claim the payment. They will be able to apply to the insurer for compensation when they receive a certificate of inheritance from a notary.

The sum insured is divided equally among all heirs. The payment term is specified in the contract with the insurance company or in the insurance rules. Usually it is from 5 to 15 days.

Is it possible to inherit money that was set aside for retirement?

Most often you can. But the conditions and procedure for receiving money depends on what kind of pension a person saved up for – state or additional.

In the case of a state pension, you can inherit your pension savings . This is part of the future state pension that most working Russians have. Savings are kept in the Pension Fund of Russia (PFR) or in a non-state pension fund (NPF).

If your loved one has been saving for an additional pension on their own, you have the opportunity to inherit their retirement savings . They can be located in the same NPF where pension savings are stored, or in another.

Who can receive inheritance savings and how?

The owner of pension savings could himself appoint successors – not necessarily relatives. And determine the share of savings that everyone will get. To do this, he  had to submit a written application with a list of successors to the branch of the FIU or the MFC.

If a person has not left such a statement, only representatives of the first or second inheritance line can count on money . The first is children, parents, husband or wife. If there are no relatives of the first stage, then the savings will go to the relatives of the second stage – brothers, sisters, grandfathers, grandmothers and grandchildren. Relatives of the same queue receive savings in equal shares.

If the insured has no relatives from the first two stages, then the savings go to the reserve of the pension fund, and the savings account is closed.

To get access to the money of the deceased, his relatives must contact the FIU and find out if the person has pension savings. If there is, the FIU will inform you in which fund they are stored and whether the owner of pension savings has left a statement with a list of successors.

You can only come to the branch of the Pension Fund of Russia in person. You cannot apply to the FIU through a notary.

When you visit the FIU you will need:

  • the passport;
  • death certificate (if any);
  • SNILS of the deceased;
  • documents confirming the relationship with the deceased.

If you know that the person has designated you as the recipient of their retirement savings, proof of relationship is not required. But you will need the SNILS number – both the deceased and your own.

When you find out in which fund your loved one’s savings are stored, do not delay. You need to contact this fund and apply for payment within six months from the date of death of the owner of the savings. If you are late, the money can only be obtained through the court.

The amount of payments will depend on whether the deceased began to receive a pension or not. If a person died before retirement, then the heirs will receive all the savings.

If a pension has already been assigned, then the amount of payment will depend on the type of pension.

The money will be paid to you only after seven months – until the 20th day of the eighth month from the date of the death of their owner.

Who can apply for voluntary retirement savings and how to get them?

Each NPF has its own rules. Whether pension savings are inherited, in what amount and under what conditions, is indicated in the agreement with the fund.

Usually, the NPF pays savings to successors only if the client has not yet started receiving additional pension. Sometimes the contract provides for the payment of part of the savings. And in some cases, under the terms of the contract, the money cannot go to the heirs at all.

If the contract provides for the transfer of savings, then two options for their inheritance are possible.

The owner of the pension account could independently determine the list of recipients of savings. To do this, he had to immediately enter their personal data into the contract or draw up a separate will with a notary indicating the successors of his pension savings.

If he did not do this, then the relatives will receive pension savings in the order of the first two inheritance queues, as in the case of the state pension.

The agreement with the NPF should state when the heirs must apply to the fund with an application for payment. For example, not earlier than six months after the death of the client, and not later than three years.

It is better to check the list of documents for receiving money in the fund in advance – it may vary in different organizations.

How long after the application is submitted, the fund must pay the money can also be found in the agreement with the NPF.

If you know that a loved one saved money for an additional pension, but you don’t know in which fund, then you can send requests to all NPFs through a notary. But again, it is worthwhile to find out in advance the prices of a notary for search and estimate the costs.


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