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How to Claim Deceased Bank Accounts


How to Claim Deceased Bank Accounts

For a payable-on-death (POD) bank account and joint-account, show your ID and original death certificate and ask to either close or remove the decedent from the account. For a decedent with a Trust, and you’re the Successor Trustee, show your ID, copy of the Trust document to gain access. Select an estate planning lawyer to guide you.

Probate Topics, Probate Litigation 



How to Access Bank Accounts of Deceased

To access the bank account of a deceased family member, a court order will be deemed necessary unless deceased had a Will or a Trust. Now, if the deceased person (Trustor/Grantor) dies, the Successor Trustee / Executor will manage the deceased assets according to the documents.

Removing Deceased Spouse from Bank Account

Removing a deceased spouse from a bank account are trying times. Our condolences. To remove the name of a deceased spouse from a bank account, you will have to show your ID, original death certificate, and if there is a Trust, show the Trust document. 


How to Access the Bank Account of a Deceased Parent 


First and foremost, we know its a hard time when a family member passes and looking into their finances, i.e., a bank account information will test your endurance.

Now, if you are looking to access a bank account of a deceased person, there are a few things to do and not do!

First, you need to gather the correct information. 

  1. Determine if there is an executor to a will
  2. Determine if someone was given access via POD (payable on death)
  3. Get multiple original copies of the death certificate. Each bank will need a copy.
  4. Did the decease die intestate? (without a will). Contact Hess-Verdon & Associates regarding probate.

If the account of the deceased isn’t held jointly or in a trust, then the bank account is off-limits until the estate is settled via probate. 

Now, to access the account, a judge will have to issue a letter to grant the executor or estate administrator access.

I have the power of attorney of my parent’s account. Can I have access?

Once your parent passes away, you no longer have access. A power of attorney ends at the time of death.

I have access to my parents ATM card, is it ok to debit cash to pay bills, etc.?

Do not be tempted to forge your parent’s signature to get cash or to pay a debt. The act of signing for your deceased parent can be considered fraud.  

My spouse has died, and we had joint accounts, can I access the funds?

Yes, you can access it because the account is held in a way that either party can sign. Now, take into consideration that the money in the bank account can be subject to federal estate or state inheritance tax. Please note: Present a death certificate to the bank to remove the deceased’s name.

We have a living trust, how can we access the bank account funds?

The trust would have named a “trustee” to execute the estate. The successor trustee can present information and a death certificate as well as a copy of the trust to the bank to gain access. To obtain the original death certificate, you will need to contact the County Coroner’s office or County Vital Records, where the deceased died.

Take away: Banks will need original death certificates. No photocopies.

My parent was receiving social security, and I have the check. Should I deposit?

Typically, a Social security check is a direct deposit, but in some instances, if an SSI check turns up, it should be returned.

Should you have any other questions, please call Hess-Verdon & Associates.

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How To Access Bank Account Of Deceased And What Not To Do!

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