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Decedent Information and Resources

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Resources and Information to help you manage the banking relationship after a loss

We understand this is an emotionally stressful time, and that navigating through a loved one's financial affairs can be challenging. We hope this information will be helpful. 

Required Documents

  • Death Certificate - The death certificate gives us the information needed to verify the identity and legal residence of our customer. A certified copy of the death certificate is generally available from the funeral director who handled the deceased's funeral arrangements, as well as from the Registry of Birth, Deaths and Marriages in the applicable state/county/parish/territory.

Other documents may be required under specific circumstances. Some examples may include Letters of Testamentary, Letters of Administration or Executorships, Certification of Trust from Successor Trustee, Court order to Release Information, etc.

Important Note: A Power of Attorney designating another to act on behalf of the account owner (principal) is valid only during the account owner’s lifetime; the power to act ends with the account owner’s death. The attorney in fact is no longer authorized to transact or obtain information on accounts.

Information about specific account ownerships

Single-owner Accounts 

Deceased depositor claims made against Individual accounts where no joint owners or beneficiaries are found may be accepted with an original, notarized letter/form/claim per CA Probate 13100 following 40 days after the date of death, along with a certified copy of death certificate.
Other documents may be required under specific circumstances. Some examples may include Letters of Testamentary, Letters of Administration or Executorships, Certification of Trust from Successor Trustee, Court order to Release Information, etc.

Joint Accounts

Joint accounts are owned by more than one person. All joint accounts are established with right of survivorship, which means that any surviving owner becomes the owner of the account after one owner passes away. The title of the account will be updated to reflect the names of the surviving owner(s) once we have the certified copy of the death certificate, updated signature card and, if required, state-specific documents. 

Trust accounts

Deceased depositor claims to funds held in Revocable/Irrevocable Living Trust Accounts can only be processed for the named Successor Trustee(s) of the Trust with a death certificate and Certification of Trust document obtained. 

  • A revocable trust account is a deposit account owned by one or more people that designates one or more beneficiaries who will receive the deposits upon the death of the owner(s).
    A revocable trust can be revoked, terminated or changed at any time, at the discretion of the owner(s). The term "owner" means the grantor, settlor, or trustor of the revocable trust.
  • An irrevocable trust account is a deposit account titled in the name of an irrevocable trust, for which the owner (grantor/settlor/trustor) contributes deposits or other property to the trust, but gives up all power to cancel or change the trust.
    Irrevocable trusts are also established following the death of an owner of a revocable trust, or by statute or judicial order.
    Please provide an EIN, which you can apply for on the Internal Revenue Service’s website www.irs.gov.

Useful terms and definitions

Administrator: The person or corporation appointed by a court to settle the estate of a deceased person if no valid will can be found or if there is a will and the named fiduciary does not serve.

Letters of Administration: Court documents obtained by the person or corporation appointed by a court to settle the estate of a deceased person if no valid will can be found or if there is a will and the named fiduciary does not serve.

Beneficiary: Person or persons who receive the assets of an estate after all debts are satisfied. Also, a person named in an informal trust as In Trust For (ITF) or Payable on Death (POD) beneficiary on bank records.

Estate: The assets and liabilities left by the decedent.

Executor/Executrix: Person or corporation appointed by a will to settle the estate of a deceased person and approved by the court to serve as such. Executor may or may not have authority to transact against accounts.

Fiduciary: A person who has been entrusted with the responsibility to manage the assets or rights of another person. A Fiduciary may be referred to as a Guardian, Conservator, Executor or Administrator, Trustee, Representative Payee, Custodian or in some cases an Attorney-In-Fact (Agent).

Letters of Testamentary: Court documents obtained by the executor/executrix confirming his or her appointment as the personal representative with authority to settle an estate.

Probate: The process of gathering a decedent’s assets, paying the creditors and any taxes owed and then distributing the remainder according to the will (testate distribution) or state law (intestate distribution), as applicable.

Will: A legal document in which a person includes instructions for the distribution of his or her property and possessions after death.

Helpful links

Understanding the general duties as an estate Administrator 

Government agencies you may need to contact

Social Security Administration/Santa Cruz Office  
800.593.8523

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
800.827.1000

Santa Cruz County Recorder’s Dept.

Affidavit for Transfer of Personal Property Worth $150,000 or Less

Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property form

 
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