How to Open a Checking Account for a Decedent’s Estate

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As the executor or representative of an estate, one of your duties is to gather and safeguard all the deceased’s property. This includes things like stocks and bonds, also as money in checking or bank accounts. After you collect all property, you’ll then need to pay off the estate’s debts. For these reasons, you ought to found out a bank account with a bank within the appropriate state. You’ll deposit money into the account, then pay off estate debts by writing checks.

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How to open an estate account

Most banks will allow you to start the method of opening an estate account by phone. Simply call their Estate Unit. You’ll be asked for the following:

  • Decedent’s legal name
  • Decedent’s Social Security number
  • Decedent’s financial account numbers
  • a replacement tax number for the estate (EIN)
  • One certified copy of the death certificate

Then, the bank will provide you with a case number. This is often the amount you’ll use on all documents provided to the bank.

Gathering Required Information

Gather the specified documents. To open a bank account, you generally got to present to the bank a replica of the death certificate also as your legal appointment paperwork, e.g., a certificate of qualification or legal document. You ought to gather these before time before getting to the bank.

Opening the Account

Find a bank within the right state. You would possibly not sleep in an equivalent state because of the estate you’re administering. For instance, you would possibly sleep in Missouri, but the estate is in Arkansas. During this situation, you shouldn’t open a bank account in Missouri. Instead, you would like to open the account within the state where the estate is found.

Using the bank account Appropriately

Transfer funds to the account. You’ll transfer the deceased’s bank accounts into the estate account, also as other cash or checks made bent the deceased. Remember to not transfer the following:

  • Joint tenancy accounts. For instance, a joint bank account belongs to the joint owner. The deceased’s ownership interest disappeared at death.
  • Payable on death accounts, like life assurance proceeds. These attend the beneficiary named on the policy.

Avoid mixing personal and estate funds

A method to avoid accidentally mixing accounts is to form sure that your accounts are in separate banks. Although it’d be more convenient to pen the estate bank account together with your current bank, you would possibly stumble and deposit estate assets in your personal account. You’ll avoid this by keeping accounts at different banks.

  • If you mistakenly got to use your personal checkbook to buy an estate business, then keep detailed records (and a receipt) before reimbursing yourself.


  • You would possibly are given power of attorney to sign checks with the deceased’s bank account. However, your power to issue checks from that account ended when the deceased gave up the ghost. Accordingly, you can’t pay estate expenses from that account, albeit you had power of attorney to use the account.
How to Open a Checking Account for a Decedent’s Estate

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