Bank Accounts

What is to be done with bank accounts after a death varies regionally.  In some regions, bank accounts are automatically frozen after a death.  To avoid any complications, the bank should be notified immediately, and you should find out the procedures for releasing these funds as well as how to set up a new account for funds received after the death.  It’s recommended that a joint account stay open for at least six months to allow you to deposit any checks that are made out to the deceased.  To take a name off a joint bank account, banks require a Certified Copy of a Death Certificate.  If the deceased had a safety deposit box in a bank, the contents can be sealed after death and a Certified Copy of a Death Certificate will be required to gain access to the contents.


Sole ownership accounts with no designated beneficiary must be included in probate proceedings and will or may require:

  • A certified death certificate for each company
  • Short certificates dated within 60 days and issued by the Register of Wills after either will has been probated or letters of administration have been issued
  • Affidavit of Residence
  • Stock Certificates: the executor or administrator must sign all certificates and have the signature guaranteed