Choosing the right bank is something most people take very seriously. They want to find a bank that will help them maximize their financial potential. Sometimes the bank we choose, though, no longer works for us. You may be moving to an area that doesn’t have branches of your bank, or you may find that a different bank offers better benefits. Death is also a reason why a bank account may need to be canceled.
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It often falls to loved ones to handle the responsibility of closing various accounts, such as canceling credit cards after a death or closing a bank account. Whether you’re closing your own account or closing one for a deceased loved one as part of your executor duties there are some things you’ll need to know. Here, we break down the steps you should take when closing down a BB&T account.
Tip: The other aspects of handling a loved one's unfinished business can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.
How to Close a Deceased Loved One’s BB&T Bank Account
While there are certain laws that regulate how banks operate, each one will have its own internal policies and procedures. Often these terms are buried in paragraphs of legalese. It can be frustrating and overwhelming for next-of-kin to have to parse all of that text. We’ve done it for you and have simplified the steps below.
Step 1: Figure out what type of bank account you’re dealing with
There are a few different kinds of bank accounts: joint and sole. A sole bank account is one person’s name, while a joint bank account will belong to two or more people who can contribute to it and withdraw money.
When one account holder dies, many banks will automatically pass sole ownership to the other account holders. That’s not necessarily the case with BB&T, as they offer two kinds of joint accounts: joint with survivorship and joint without survivorship. In a joint survivorship account, the account will belong solely to the other party on the account. If you are the next of kin and also the joint account holder, there’s nothing that you actually need to do. You should still notify the bank as a courtesy, but you may not even need to provide a death certificate.
If the account is joint without survivorship, the funds are typically evenly distributed between the surviving account owner and the estate of the deceased. In this case, the executor should present a certified copy of the death certificate to the bank. Then, they will release the funds and close the account.
If the account you want to close is a sole account, you will need to proceed to the next step.
Step 2: See if the deceased designated a beneficiary
Many banks, including BB&T, will allow account holders to designate a beneficiary. Accounts with this designation are considered payable on death (POD). When the owner dies, the account can be closed and the funds will be released to the beneficiary. If there are multiple beneficiaries listed, the money will be divided equally among them.
If you are the beneficiary of the account, you should provide BB&T with a certified copy of the death certificate. At this point, the funds can be released to you and the account can be closed. If you are the executor or trustee, you can close the account using the death certificate, but you’ll need to give all of the funds to the beneficiary.
If the deceased did not have a beneficiary, you’ll need to move on to the third step.
Step 3: Gather the necessary documentation
If you’ve determined that the deceased person’s bank account was a sole account without a beneficiary listed, you will need to obtain certain items to bring to the bank before closing the account. They are as follows:
- A copy of the death certificate
- A letter of testamentary listed by a judge that names you as the executor
- The deceased’s social security number
- Any bank account numbers held by the deceased
Call BB&T by looking up their customer service phone number and letting them know you need to close an account on behalf of someone who has died. They will request copies of any necessary documentation and let you know the best way to send it to them.
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How to Close Your Own BB&T Bank Account
Closing a personal bank account in your own name is a lot less complicated than closing one on behalf of someone who has died. But there are still some hoops you need to jump through. We break those down for you here.
Step 1: Set up a new bank account
You may be saying, “Wait, I’m trying to close an account, not open one!” But when most people close an account it’s because they’ve decided to relocate their money elsewhere. Opening your new account first can streamline the process. You can also transfer the bulk of the money from your BB&T account to the new account once it’s set up.
Step 2: Update your online payment information
Many people have automatic payments set up to come out of their accounts for various bills. Go ahead and update every company that might auto-draft funds with the information from your new account. If you have direct deposits, you should also reroute those to the new account.
Step 4: Decide how you want to contact BB&T to close your account
There are a few different ways you can reach out to BB&T. First, you can close your account over the phone. Customer service numbers sometimes change, so go look for the current contact number on the BB&T website. If you have a debit card, you can also dial the phone number on the back and they can transfer you. Your other option is to visit a location in person.
If you decide to cancel your account over the phone, you will be asked to confirm personal information and answer security questions. You can request for your account to be closed, and ask for them to send you a check for whatever money remains in the account.
If you decide to close your account in person, you will need to present a photo ID. While this step may seem less convenient than the phone option, you should be able to leave with a check that day.
Closing Bank Accounts Can Be Complex
It’s important for financial institutions to have systems in place to protect your money. But those same systems can feel needlessly complex when it’s time to close an account. Just remember that those roadblocks are not in place to keep you from the money that is rightfully yours. It’s just meant to make sure your money doesn’t get into the wrong hands. Closing your own account or someone else’s can be difficult, but hopefully, this guide can help demystify the process.
- “Contact Us.” Bbt.com, BB&T, 2021, www.bbt.com/contact-us.html.