How to Close a Suntrust Bank Account for You or a Deceased Loved One

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We live in a time of many modern conveniences. Thanks to the widespread use of the technology and internet, we can handle a vast array of tasks from the safety of our own homes. This includes things like banking and paying bills. But some things can’t be done with just a few clicks of the mouse.

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Closing a bank account is a more involved process than paying a bill. If you’re closing your own account or closing an account for a deceased loved one, there are certain steps that you’ll need to take. Here, we’ll streamline the process of closing a Suntrust bank account:     

How to Close a Deceased Loved One’s Suntrust Bank Account

After a loved one dies, there are a lot of odds and ends that need to be tied up. Sometimes family members have to handle all of those details, like canceling credit cards after a death. In many cases, an executor will be appointed to handle the affairs of the deceased. Typical executor duties can include things like settling debts, distributing assets, and closing bank accounts. If you’ve been assigned as an executor, these steps will help you cancel a Suntrust account:

Step 1: Cancel any auto drafts or direct deposits scheduled for the account

Many people have set up paychecks to get directly deposited into their accounts. They also frequently set up automatic payments so they are sure to pay bills on time. In an ideal world, the deceased will have left you a list of all their accounts and given you access to a password manager to make this process easier.

Before you close a bank account, it’s important to cancel all of these. The reason for this is that most major banks reserve the right to reopen an account if a debit or credit comes through after the account is closed. When this happens, it is referred to as a zombie account. If a payment comes out of a closed account, it will put the account into the negative and begin to rack up overdraft fees. That can make your job as executor a lot more difficult.

Step 2: Get a letter of testamentary

A letter of testamentary is a legal document that shows you have the legal right to act as an executor. This letter will empower you to pay off any debts, close accounts, and distribute assets according to the deceased’s wishes. If the deceased had a will and named you the executor, you should contact your local probate court. They will talk you through filling out the correct paperwork and filing the will. After that is done, they will issue your letter of testamentary. 

Pro-tip: request several certified copies of the letter of testamentary, as you’ll need them for other entities besides the bank.  

Step 3: Get certified copies of the death certificate

A death certificate is another legal document. This one is an official record of someone’s death. If a funeral home is involved in the burial process, you can contact them for help acquiring copies. Alternatively, you can contact your state vital records office for certified copies. Once again, it is best to request several copies as you will need to provide them for almost any account you cancel. 

Step 4a: Visit a Suntrust bank with your required documentation

The best way to close a Suntrust account on behalf of a deceased person is to go visit a branch in person. You can schedule an appointment on their website in order to make your trip more efficient. In addition to the letter of testamentary and death certificate, you’ll need to bring a valid government ID. This could be a driver’s license or a passport. This will provide proof that you are who you say you are.  

Step 4b: Alternatively, call the Suntrust customer service line

Occasionally, the person who is asked to be the executor of the estate may not live in the same area as the deceased, and as such, may not be near a Suntrust bank. In that case, you should call the customer service line at 1-800-SUNTRUST. They can let you know the best way to proceed. 

Step 5: Communicate disbursement details to the bank

When you close an account as an executor, you are responsible for making sure the funds from that account end up in the right place. The way that process goes will depend on the regulations where you live and your individual situation. If you’re consolidating the assets of the estate into a single account, you can have the bank transfer the funds there.

If the bank account has a designated beneficiary, the funds can be transferred to them. This could be done via electronic transfer, or through a certified check in the beneficiary’s name. Again, this process will vary slightly depending on where you live.  

Step 6: Ask for documentation

When you fulfill your role as executor, it’s extremely important to make sure that you document everything. It’s your legal responsibility to make sure that the debts of the estate are settled and the remaining assets are distributed. You will also need to be able to prove that in case there are any inheritance disputes. Get documentation that shows the account has been closed, as well as proof of any disbursements.   

ยป MORE: Are you helping someone through a loss? Make sure you're on the right track with this post-loss checklist.

 

How to Close Your Own Suntrust Bank Account

Closing a bank account can be quite complex when you’re doing it on behalf of someone who has died. Closing a personal bank account is a somewhat simpler process, but it still necessitates certain steps. 

Step 1: Set up a new bank account

People leave banks for many reasons. They may be moving to an area where their old bank doesn’t exist. Or they may have found that another bank offers better financial benefits. Whatever your reason, go ahead and set up the new bank account first and move the bulk of your money over to it. Just leave enough in the old account to cover any upcoming auto drafts.  

Step 2: Switch auto draft and direct deposits to your new account

If you have automatic bill pay set up or if your employer uses direct deposit, make sure to update your bank account information. You should be able to switch many of your accounts online. It can take up to 10 business days for sites to fully update your information, so ensure you’re keeping some funds in your old account, too. 

Step 3: Contact Suntrust to close your account

There are a few ways to close your Suntrust account. You can call their customer service number at 1-800-SUNTRUST. Or you can visit a branch in person. If you call them, you will need to answer security questions to prove your identity. In person, you will need to have a valid government ID like a driver’s license or a passport to do the same.

Once you do that, you’ll receive confirmation that your account has been closed, along with a check for any funds still in the account. If you don’t receive this documentation and check within three weeks, be sure to contact Suntrust to follow up.  

Closing a Bank Account, Simplified

Some accounts are difficult to close because a business doesn’t want to lose a customer (we’re looking at you, gym memberships). Some are harder to close for better reasons. Banks have you go through all these steps in order to confirm your identity and make sure funds get to the right person. While it may seem inconvenient, it helps protect people from fraud. These steps can help make a tedious but necessary process go much more smoothly.  


Sources:
  1.  “Frequently Asked Questions.” Suntrust.com, Suntrust, 2021, www.suntrust.com/help-center/personal-banking-faq.  

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