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When Banks Want to See a Copy of a Death Certificate

When you have lost a loved one, you are rightfully focused on the difficult emotional journey that lies before you. Unfortunately, there are also many administrative and legal tasks that remain for the person in charge of settling the estate. A very important task includes, dealing with bank accounts that are under the deceased’s name. As part of this process, the bank will likely want to see a copy of your loved one’s death certificate.

 4 Reasons Why the Bank Will Ask for a Death Certificate:

Remember, the court may not be the only institution requesting to see a copy of your loved one’s death certificate. Banks and other financial institutions will often ask for a copy as well. A death certificate is essential for various tasks during the estate administration process.

  1. If the bank account is under the deceased trustees name, this certificate should be provided to prove their death.
  2.  In the case of a joint bank account, the death certificate will document the transfer of assets from joint to being solely held.
  3. When an account in question was a “payable on death” account, this certificate could be required to prove death.
  4. If the bank account was held in the name of the deceased, a death certificate will prove to the bank that he or she has passed. The bank freezes the account until a personal representative is appointed by the court.

Did this article provide you with a helpful explanation as to why a bank may ask you for a copy of the death certificate? If so, do not to stop there! We have much more to offer in order to assist you in the probate administration process. We encourage you to view our free guide, Understand What to Expect During a California Estate Administration, for a valuable overview of the process of settling your loved one’s estate.

Related Links:

Tips for Obtaining a Death Certificate

Speed Up Probate by Getting Multiple Death Certificates

Scott Grossman

Scott Grossman


The Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307

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