Every person has to make the decision once in his/her life, as to who is going to be the ultimate beneficiary of the property, after his/her demise. It is important to determine whose hands will get the property legally, i.e. legal heir or nominee. The two can be the same person, but not in all the cases. A nominee is someone, who is nominated by the deceased person when he/she is alive, to take care of the assets and investments after his/her demise.
On the contrary, the legal heir is the one who succeeds and is officially entitled to receive the property of another person, on that person’s demise. In this article, we’ve simplified all the differences between nominee and legal heir, so take a read.
Content: Nominee Vs Legal Heir
|Basis for Comparison||Nominee||Legal Heir|
|Meaning||Nominee implies a person nominated by another to act as a custodian of the assets, in the event of death.||Legal Heir refers to successor, whose name is mentioned in the will of deceased, as the final owner of assets.|
|Indicates||The hands authorized to receive the amount or asset.||The hands entitled to own the amount or asset.|
|Determined by||Nomination||Will or Provisions of succession law|
Definition of Nominee
Nominee, as the name suggests, is the person, who is chosen by another person to function as his/her representative in a particular matter. He/She is the one who receives the assets or amount, on the demise of another person.
The nominee is not the owner, but for the time being acts as the holder of the wealth of the deceased and passes it to the legal heir, according to the will drafted by the deceased.
A person can make nominee, only from his/her family members. Any nomination done in favour of persons other than the family members is termed as void. However, in case a person has no family, then he/she can nominate any person as a nominee, and whenever the person acquires the family, the previous nomination becomes invalid and a fresh nomination should be made, in favour of the family members.
Definition of Legal Heir
Legal heir alludes to the successor, who is entitled to become the ultimate owner of the assets and investments of the deceased. The name of the legal heir is mentioned in the will of the deceased, and in case there is no will made by the deceased individual, then the rules of succession law will apply, and on that basis, the property is distributed among various claimants.
The right of the legal heir to the wealth is indefeasible in nature. Basically, the legal heirs of a deceased who is married are spouse, children and parents, whereas, in case of an unmarried deceased person, his/her parents and siblings would be the ultimate legal heirs.
Key Differences Between Nominee and Legal Heir
The differences between the nominee and legal heir are explained hereunder:
- The nominee can be described as a person in whose favour nomination is made by another person, to authorize him/her get the sum after that person’s demise. On the contrary, the legal heir is the person who gets the ownership interest in the wealth of another person, in the event of the death of that person.
- The nominee acts as the trustee, who holds the property of another person till it is transferred to the legal heir. As against, the legal heir plays the role of the beneficiary who has an ownership interest in the property of the deceased.
- A nominee is the one authorised to receive the amount after the demise of the person who made a nomination. On the contrary, the legal heir is the one who has the ultimate right to the assets or wealth of the deceased person.
- Nomination decides the legal nominee, whereas it is the will that specifies the legal heir of a person. However, in the absence of a will, the provisions of succession law shall apply.
By and large, the legal heir and nominee determine two different persons, i.e. the former determines the ultimate owner of the property and the latter decides the recipient of the property. However, a person can be the nominee and legal heir at the same time, when he/she is nominated for the investments and other holdings and his/her name is also mentioned in the will of that person as the legal heir.