Freelancers, online sellers, and small business owners often need safe ways to process payments online. Many people have turned to PayPal business accounts for these situations and many others. A PayPal business account allows you to receive money quickly, often within minutes. It’s also a lower-cost payment processor that is integrated with many e-commerce platforms. Its adaptability and accessibility have made it a popular business account. However, sometimes circumstances change.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How to Close Your Own PayPal Business Account
- How to Close a PayPal Business Account for a Deceased Loved One
You may find yourself in the position of needing to cancel a PayPal business account for yourself or on behalf of a deceased loved one. Below, we simplify the steps in that process for you.
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 Your Own PayPal Business Account
PayPal themselves will point out that closing your PayPal account may not be necessary. Even if you’re not currently using it, you may want to use it in the future. Since there’s no fee to keep an account open, that makes a certain amount of sense.
That said, it’s always a good idea to close down a PayPal business account if your business has permanently shut down. This can minimize the risk of identity theft. Closing your account is surprisingly simple. We’ll break down those steps for you here.
Step 1: Withdraw any money from your PayPal account
While you can technically move your funds later in the process, transferring them at the beginning is the best practice. You can transfer the funds electronically into your bank account, or request that a check is mailed to you. There’s no charge for the electronic transfer, but there is a $1.50 charge for a physical check.
Step 2: Make sure there are no limitations or unresolved account issues
There are certain factors that might block you from closing your account. This might include having an unconfirmed email address associated with the account or continuing to carry a balance. Make sure any outstanding issues are handled, or you will not be able to complete the process.
Step 3: Close your account
When you’re logged into your PayPal account, look at the top right-hand corner of the screen. There you’ll see the words “Log Out.” Next to that phrase, there’s a gear-shaped icon that denotes your settings.
Click on that gear, and then look for the section that says “Account Options.” Underneath that, you’ll see a link that reads “Close Your Account.” Click on that, and enter your bank account number if you’re prompted to do so. It’s as simple as that!
How to Close a PayPal Business Account for a Deceased Loved One
PayPal is bound by certain financial regulations. This means there are rules about who they can deal with regarding posthumous account closures. They state that they can only deal with the administrator or executor of a deceased person’s estate. If you are performing executor duties on someone’s behalf, here’s how you can cancel their PayPal business account:
Step 1: Compile the required documentation
PayPal will need to verify that they are dealing with someone who is authorized to handle account closures. There are several documents that you will need to acquire. They will confirm your identity and prove that you have legal authority over an estate. Here are the types of documents you’ll need to provide:
A certified copy of the death certificate
Any reputable financial institution will require proof that someone has died before releasing their funds. A certified copy of the death certificate is typically sufficient evidence.
There are a few ways you can acquire certified copies of the death certificate. You can contact the funeral director who oversaw the burial of the deceased. Or you can reach out to the Vital Records Office in the county or state where the deceased died.
Tip: when you get your certified copies of the death certificate be sure to request several copies. You’ll have to provide copies to several entities, so it’s best to be prepared.
Documentation that demonstrates your legal right to act on behalf of the deceased
Again, finance-adjacent companies like PayPal will need proof that you have been empowered to make arrangements for the deceased’s accounts. Many will require a certified copy of the letters testamentary, which is a legal document issued by a probate court judge. You can include one of those, or just enclose a copy of the will if it identifies you as executor.
Copy of a government-issued photo ID
Photocopies of photo IDs like passports or driver’s licenses are necessary to prove your identity.
Step 2: Write a cover letter
Your cover letter should be a brief but detailed document that asks PayPal to cancel a business account on behalf of an estate.
In this letter, you’ll need to identify the primary email address associated with the account. If you’re not sure what that is, you can check the deceased’s password manager if you have access to it. You should also include your phone number and email address. That way the designated Deceased Account Team can contact you upon receiving your correspondence.
Step 3: Mail the cover letter and necessary documents
Print out your cover letter and enclose it in an envelope along with the documents discussed above. Then mail it to the following address:
PO Box 45950
Omaha, NE 68145
It’s always a good idea when sending official requests as executor to request delivery confirmation.
Step 4: Follow up on account closure if necessary
Once your documents have been received, the Deceased Account Team will review all of the information. They’ll reach out to you to confirm the account’s closure and make plans to disburse the funds.
They can send a check in the name of the deceased account holder. They can also transfer funds to the bank account that is linked to the PayPal account in question. Once the account is closed, all the documents you sent in will be destroyed by PayPal and will not be returned to you.
Follow These Steps to Close Your Paypal Business Account
We all leave behind a digital legacy after we die. Our presence can linger online through our social media accounts and sundry other accounts. You can make things easier on your future next-of-kin by closing down accounts you no longer use. Or you can close accounts on behalf of someone who has died.
Whether you’re closing your own PayPal business account or someone else’s, these steps should help you make it through the process smoothly.
- “How do I close my PayPal account?” Paypal.com, PayPal, 2021, www.paypal.com/us/smarthelp/article/how-do-i-close-my-paypal-account-faq1215.
- “How do I close the PayPal account of a deceased relative?” Paypal.com, PayPal, 2021, www.paypal.com/us/smarthelp/article/How-do-I-close-the-PayPal-account-of-a-relative-FAQ1694.