How to Close a Betterment Account for You or a Deceased Loved One

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You must do a lot of things immediately after someone dies. Besides planning the funeral and writing the obituary, you also need to cancel the credit cards of the deceased

At some point, you will also need to go through your loved one’s financial assets and debts with a fine-toothed comb, especially if you are the executor of the estate. You might need the help of an estate lawyer to get through that process. 

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Here’s what to do if you discover that your loved one had a Betterment account. This article will walk you through the process of how to close a Betterment account, whether for a deceased loved one or yourself.

Tip: If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, closing accounts and 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 Betterment Account

The steps you need to take to close out a deceased loved one’s Betterment account is dependent on a variety of factors. 

Here are the steps you may need to take to close your deceased loved one’s Betterment account if you are the beneficiary.

Step 1: Email estates@betterment.com

Request a template of a document that you need to fill out to transfer the funds into your name. 

If you are the named beneficiary of the Betterment account (or if you are the spouse of the deceased), closing it will be a relatively simple process. Once you receive the document, fill it out and return it to Betterment.

You may also email Betterment with the following information:

  • Contact information of the beneficiary
  • A legible, color copy of the beneficiary’s driver’s license
  • An affidavit of survivorship (if the beneficiary was the spouse of the deceased)

Step 2: Open a Betterment account in your name.

To receive the assets in your deceased loved one’s account, you will need to open your own account. Once the account assets are in your name, you can withdraw or roll them over to another account and close your new account. 

If you are not the named beneficiary of the deceased, inform the customer service representative in charge of estates that your loved one died without designating a beneficiary on the account. 

Step 3: Follow the instructions that you receive from the customer service representative.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to make a blanket statement on how this situation works. It depends on the size of the account and the account holder’s jurisdiction.

Generally, Betterment needs the following information when an account holder dies without naming a beneficiary:

  • Name, contact information, and Social Security number of the executor of the estate
  • A legible color copy of the executor’s driver’s license
  • Court-appointed document showing executor designation
  • Estate’s EIN
  • A copy of a recent bank statement for the bank account to which the executor will transfer the funds

Betterment may need additional or different information but it depends on the account size and where the account holder resided. 

How to Close Your Own Betterment Account

Perhaps you have your own Betterment account that you wish to close. Here are the instructions on how to complete this process. 

Step 1: Remove your funds.

The first step in closing your account with Betterment is to remove the funds from your account or transfer them to another account with another company. 

Step 2: Log into your account and select “Settings” and then “Accounts.”

Do you have a difficult time keeping track of your account passwords? Consider using a password manager

Once you have logged into your Betterment account, click the three dots to the right of the specific account you wish to close. Click “close account.” This process is the same regardless if it is a joint account or not. 

There are no fees for closing a Betterment account.

Frequently Asked Questions: How to Close a Betterment Account

Even though the process of closing a Betterment account is relatively straightforward, you may have specific questions regarding the process. Here are some answers to those FAQs. 

How do you transfer funds out of a Betterment account before you close it?

After logging into the account, select “Settings” and then “Accounts.”

Click the three dots to the right of the investment account you wish to close. If there are funds in the account, you will be prompted to withdraw or roll them over to a different account. If you withdraw your funds, they will be sent to your linked bank account. This process usually takes four to five business days to complete. 

Can you close your account if it’s suspended?

It is difficult to offer specific advice on this question without knowing the reason why the account was suspended. For example, some accounts are suspended if the account holder’s identity isn’t determined. 

To learn more about your specific situation, email Betterment’s customer service team.

Make Things Easier on Your Beneficiaries by Making an End-of-Life Plan

If you are struggling to get through the endless list of tasks since the death of your loved one, make things simpler for your beneficiaries. Create an end-of-life plan that focuses on your finances and accounts.

Most people do not want to divulge their financial information to their children or other beneficiaries before they have to. Still, it’s important to keep meticulous records of all your accounts and other assets in an easy-to-find (but secure) place.

Also, make sure each of your accounts has an assigned beneficiary to make the process of closing them after your death go as smoothly as possible.

Besides taking care of your loved one’s financial accounts, you may also consider how you will handle your loved one’s digital afterlife. This may not be something that you need to complete immediately, but you may begin thinking about what you want to do with the deceased’s social media accounts. 

For more information, reach out to an estate attorney in your local area. Also, look at the many resources that CAKE provides on estate planning. 


Source:
  1. FAQs. Betterment. https://www.betterment.com/resources/
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