Closing Bank Accounts Upon the Death of a Loved One

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Monday, February 13, 2023

When a loved one passes away, it can be difficult to keep track of everything you have to handle. In addition to the overwhelming grief, you have to set up a funeral, contact relatives, change bill payments, and contact a number of different agencies. Bank accounts owned by your loved one will need to be dealt with. This article will explore how to handle these accounts upon your loved one’s death. Keep in mind that, usually, a copy of their death certificate and ID is needed to prove the passing of a loved one to the Bank. A Will or other estate documents may be needed to transfer ownership of certain accounts. 

Joint Accounts

Joint bank accounts are most often used between spouses and business partners. Depending on how the account was established, there are two ways the account can be handled upon the death of one of the owners of the account. First, there are “Rights of Survivorship” accounts. These accounts are transferred fully to the co-owner upon death. Accounts without “Rights of Survivorship” can be given to a new co-owner upon death. This is often passed down to a child or other heir. If you are unsure of the nature of the account, check with the bank.

Accounts in Their Name

Bank accounts held solely by the deceased can be held up temporarily while the death is being processed. This account will usually have to be transferred through estate administration. However, it can be held further if the estate is brought to the probate court. This can be avoided if your loved one established a Payable-on-Death (POD) beneficiary. Without a POD beneficiary named, you may need documentation from your loved one’s executor or estate attorney to access the account; provided that it is not caught up in probate.

Accounts Held in Trust

Your loved one may have put one or more of their bank accounts into a trust. Trusts allow the funds to be transferred after your loved one’s death to their heir(s). These trusts, and the transferral of funds, are arbitrated by a trustee, or a group of trustees. Because of this, they are ultimately in charge of the accounts. Thankfully, this also means that you do not have to worry about closing such accounts.

Matthew Funeral Home does not provide legal or financial advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for legal or financial advice.
For over 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.

Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.


Please wait

Previous Posts

The Symbolism of Common Funeral Flowers

In most families and cultures, floral arrangements go hand-in-hand with funerals. Each type of flower evokes different feelings in people and has a deep meaning associated with them. When you send ...

Dividing Possessions After a Loss

After the loss of a loved one, dealing with the storage, distribution, and cleanup of possessions can be a daunting task. However, it can be a source of contention in some families. Distributing im...

Religious Holidays and Losing the Older Generation

With religious holidays such as Easter, Ramadan, and Passover just around the corner, it is common for those of faith to follow their respective traditions. As more of the younger generations becom...

Pets as Allies in Grief

During periods of immense grief, it can be important to surround yourself with loved ones. While this often means friends and family, our pets can also provide great comfort during our hardest time...

Spring Renewal and Living With Loss

Growth, life, and renewal are all big parts of the Spring season. Unfortunately, these can be difficult to deal with after the loss of a loved one. When living with grief, it can be hard to accept ...

Etiquette of Sending Memorial Donations

Some individuals or their families request donations to charity in lieu of flowers during the bereavement period. This article will explore the etiquette expected when making a memorial donation in...

Spring Cleaning after a Loved One Passes Away

After a loved one passes, sorting through and dealing with their belongings can be a daunting task to take on. There can be many memories within, and it can be a challenging part of the grieving pr...

Catholic Funeral Rites

The way a funeral service is held is often based on the religion of the deceased or their family. When going to a funeral for a friend or family member of a different faith, you may not know what t...

Remarrying as a Senior Citizen

Many seniors choose to remarry, these days. With people living longer, and retirement communities becoming a popular option for those who do not need long-term care, many elderly individuals are ch...

Collectibles and Your Estate Plan

When planning out how you will divide your estate amongst your heirs, many people often forget about their collections. Whether you collect fine art, model figures, comic books, or trading cards; h...