How do I close a bank account after someone dies?

Navigating and closing a deceased person’s bank account can be tricky. Follow these simple steps to ensure you are able to properly close the account:

  1. Gather necessary documents: The bank will want to make sure they are giving the right person the money. This could just be a death certificate and your driver’s license. It could also require opening an estate and getting letters testamentary.
  2. Contact the Bank: They can provide helpful information and support in this process since they have specialized procedures for dealing with these accounts. They can help, but they are not always correct.
  3. Follow the bank’s procedures: The bank will likely have you fill out some forms and provide the necessary documents to close the account. They may also ask you to provide information about any outstanding debts or bills that need to be paid from the account.
  4. Transfer any remaining funds: If there is money remaining in the account after any debts or bills have been paid, the bank will likely ask you to provide instructions on where the funds should be transferred. This may involve transferring the money to an account in your own name or distributing it to the beneficiaries of the deceased person’s estate.
  5. Close any linked accounts: If the deceased person had any other accounts that are linked to the one you are closing, such as a joint account or a credit card account, you’ll need to close those as well. Follow the same process as above to close these accounts.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions or need more information, please don’t hesitate to ask.

How to access a deceased person’s bank account?

This depends on the facts for the specific bank account. Most of the time it is a family member looking for bank account access. Just remember that being related does not make you one of the account holders. We will go through different scenarios below:

Was the bank account jointly owned?

If the bank account was jointly owned it most likely belongs to the other account holder. If there is a surviving spouse, they may be a joint owner. Most joint bank accounts are held as a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship. This means that when one account holder dies then money in the account transfers to the other joint owner.

That being said, it is possible that the account was held in joint tenancy without the rights of survivorship. That is called tenants in common. In that situation, each of the joint owners owns half of the account. The surviving owner keeps their half and the deceased owner’s half would pass to a named beneficiary (if there is one) or to the decedent’s children.

Did the account have a sole owner?

With Beneficiary Designations: If the account was solely owned, the first question to ask is was there a designated beneficiary? If there was a named beneficiary, then the fund would automatically transfer to the new owner without any further legal action.

What happens if no beneficiary is named on the bank account?

If there are no beneficiary designations on the account, then you will most likely have to go through some sort of probate process. This could be an Arkansas Small Estate Affidavit or it could be the full Arkansas Probate Process.

When going through probate an executor is appointed. It is their job to gather the assets. They will deal with the banks, other assets, and the estate’s creditors to finalize the estate.

Just remember, more assets are protected and the estate goes smoother if you have an estate plan in place. It also tends to make it easier for family members to access assets and they fight a little less.

How do I get a bank statement from a deceased person?

The best way to get a bank statement is to check the mail. Now, in today’s world, this helps less and less. Most people do not get statements mailed to them, the show up via email or online account access. It is more and more important to have a good Arkansas Estate Plan so people can have the information they need to solve these issues.

Many people want to find out what is in the bank account before the go through the trouble an expense of trying to get the funds out.

Who will notify the bank if someone dies?

If someone dies, it is typically the responsibility of the family members or executor to notify the bank of the person’s death. This can be done by contacting the bank and providing them with a copy of the person’s death certificate and any other relevant documents.

Does a Deceased Person’s Bank Account get Frozen?

The bank will then freeze the account and provide instructions on how to proceed with closing the account or transferring any remaining funds to the appropriate parties.

In some cases, the bank may be notified of the person’s death by another party, such as a government agency or the person’s employer. For example, if the person was receiving Social Security benefits, the Social Security Administration may notify the bank of the person’s death and request that the account be closed.

It is important to notify the bank as soon as possible after someone dies, as this will help to ensure that any outstanding debts or bills are paid and that any remaining funds are transferred to the appropriate parties. It will also help to prevent any unauthorized transactions from being made on the account.

How to find out if you are a beneficiary on a bank account?

There are a few ways you can find out if you are a beneficiary on a bank account:

  1. Check the deceased person’s will or trust document: If you are a beneficiary of the deceased person’s estate, your name should be listed in their will or trust document. This document should be filed with the probate court, so you may be able to obtain a copy by contacting the court or the person’s attorney.
  2. Contact the bank: If you are unsure whether you are a beneficiary of a bank account, you can contact the bank where the account is held and ask them if you are listed as a beneficiary. You will need to provide the bank with information about the account and the deceased person, and you may need to provide proof of your identity.
  3. Check for payable-on-death (POD) or transfer-on-death (TOD) accounts: If the deceased person had a POD or TOD account, they may have designated you as a beneficiary of the account. You can check with the bank to see if the deceased person had any accounts of this type and if you are listed as a beneficiary.

If you are unable to find out whether you are a beneficiary of a bank account by using these methods, you may need to seek the guidance of an experienced probate attorney. They will be able to provide you with more information on how to determine whether you are entitled to any funds from the deceased person’s estate.