Nominee Vs Legal heir | Know the difference with complete details

Human life is bound to cease. When we are alive, we make money, acquire properties and invest somewhere. At the end of the journey no one would take away.


Nominee Vs Legal heir

Human life is bound to cease. When we are alive, we make money, acquire properties and invest somewhere. At the end of the journey no one would take away what they have earned throughout the course of their lifetime. And it is inevitable that the wealth should be passed on to the next beneficiary. Here comes the important question as to whose hands the property goes on legally. That’s why it is very important to make the decisions about who you want be the next beneficiary of your wealth after you. There is always a confusion among the masses about the difference between Nominee and legal heir. Here we discuss the significant difference and the related implications. Now check more details for “Nominee Vs Legal heir” from below…..

Nominee Vs Legal heir


A person who has been nominated by you to act as the trustee/caretaker of your assets in the event of your death. However, he is not the owner of the property, he can just act as the holder of the property. A nominee is bound to transfer the assets of the deceased to the ultimate legal heir as per the will executed by the deceased. A nominee may not necessarily be a legal heir or a relative. However, a nominee holds the assets with him till a legitimate claim is made by the legal heirs of the deceased’s property.

Legal heir:

A legal heir is someone who is mentioned in the will of deceased individual as the ultimate owner of the assets and investments of the deceased. In the absence of a will, the provisions of succession laws will come into force based on which the deceased’s properties are distributed. So, it is very important to execute the will when you are alive to avoid any possible disputes among your heirs after your demise.

Succession laws:

ActApplicable to
Indian Succession Act, 1925Christians, Jews, Parsis
Hindu Succession Act, 1956Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists
The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937Muslims

Here are the links to the respective acts:


Content in this Article

Indian Succession Act, 1925:

Click to access indian_succession_act_1925.pdf

Hindu Succession Act, 1956

Click to access indian_succession_act_1925.pdf

The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937

Muslim Personal Law (shariat) Application Act 1937.pdf

Nominee Vs Legal heir

Absence of will:

If a person dies without making any will then the assets and investments will be shared as per the respective succession acts as mentioned in the above chart. However, it is highly recommended to make a will while you are well and good. Absence of will may result in chaotic situation where the legal heirs would lodge legal fights against each other and end up with grief.

Care should be taken while making a will such as:

  • Mention the full name of the nominee along with his address, age and relationships
  • Instead of mentioning the relationship alone such as children, son, spouse etc., mention their names along with the relationship
  • If the nominee is a minor, then appoint a trustee who will act as a care taker till the nominee attain the majority.

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Latest Comments

  1. Sir, In case of ancestor property, what will be accepted by court-
    will to another person out of family or children

    for ex. A’s son is B.B’s son is C.
    A transfer the property in the name of son B.
    B makes will that property will be transfered to P, a relative(not son/daughter/wife)
    Court will make decision in favour of son or outside relative


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