Nomination or will – which one is supreme?


  • Our client is the son of the shareholder. He had a will in his favour, bequeathing certain shares.
  • While most of the shares are clean, one particular high value share had a nomination outside the family. Nominee was a friend of the father and his whereabouts are not known.
  • Now the problem is this, father passed away 10 years back and he made a registered will setting aside his wealth to various legal heirs. One of the bequeaths had a nominee.

Will is made out and registered outside of metro cities.


  • First, we took up the case and found out that there was a nomination in place.
  • We then, explained to the clients that nomination is supreme and a registered will cannot hold any legal sanctity.
  • It turned out, the nominee was a friend of our client’s father and the share was invested before the father’s wedding.
  • We then informed the client that, we need to inform the nominee and have a moral deal with our client. Since the value is high, it is worth giving it a go and even divide the proceeds on pure moral grounds. It is not easy for the nominee to get it since the shares have already slipped to IEPF.
  • We started tracing the nominee and it turned out like a fairy tale. The nominee was no more and the will became operational.
  • We had a tough time explaining to the client that, the will needs to be probated even though it does not fall under mandatory probating requirements. Some companies insist on it even though the will was registered in a small town 300 KM away from Chennai.
  • So called logic behind this atrocious requirement is that companies have no way of knowing whether the will produced (even though registered) is the last will of testament. We are not agreeable since there are lot of circumstantial evidences through which the genuineness of a will can be established. However, we have to go by the company rules if we need the shares.

Presently probate process is on and as soon as the probate order comes, we have to claim the shares from IEPF.