US Bank has set protocols for closing an account. Whether you’re acting as the executor of an estate closing an account for a loved one or you’ve just decided to move on yourself, there is a specific way to go about closing your US bank account. This article will tell you how to do it.
Jump ahead to these sections:
Before we get started, first look online for a PDF copy of the account agreement to better understand your rights. Banks are often compassionate when it comes to losing loved ones, but they still have a checklist of things to accomplish on their end.
Taking the right steps to ensure the full closure of the account in question will only make things more comfortable for everyone in the long run.
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 US Bank Account
US Bank’s website says that you’ll have one point of contact from a team of specialists who’ll guide you with professionalism and compassion when closing a deceased loved one’s account. Before you call, make sure you’ve prepared the following documents.
Documentation of death
Proof of death is necessary to close an account on behalf of your loved one. If you didn’t order enough at the funeral home, then make a copy. Commonly, you’ll find a notary at the funeral home to certify that copy for the bank.
Look for statements, letters, and old bills as these will likely have the account holder’s information listed on them.
Documentation of your authority over the estate or trust
US Bank requires documentation detailing your right and ability to handle bank accounts regarding your loved one's estate or trust. Documents accepted by US Bank include:
- Probate documentation: a judicially approved will
- Small estate affidavit/collection of personal property: a simplified version of the probate doc
- Executor paperwork: a letter of executor duties states that you legally have the responsibility to manage the estate and will
- Representative paperwork: the person named in the will to manage the estate and trust
- Letters of testamentary: court documentation stating that the last will and testament has been completed properly
- Trust documents: well-defined rules for the handling of the trust or estate.
What if there’s a mortgage or loan?
If there’s an outstanding mortgage or loan, you’ll need the last will and testament as well as any trust documents with regards to these. The bank can then verify how to address them legally.
Points of contact
US Bank also holds that they may require you to contact any of the following entities and provide any of the documentation mentioned above.
- Social Security Administration: You’re responsible for notifying the SSA upon the death of your loved one to manage benefit payments.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Compensation benefits end after a loved one's death, but you may qualify for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. It's your responsibility to contact the VA upon a loved one's death to manage their affairs.
- A trust or estate attorney: For more information on your duties and responsibilities, including your benefits, contact an attorney to assist in the process.
- Deceased's employer: Your loved one’s employer will be a useful resource for information.
- Creditors/financial institutions: Creditors legally have between 3 and 6 months to collect debts after your loved one dies. You will want to call and cancel your loved one’s credit cards upon death to avoid unwanted harassment and scams.
- Post office: Aside from property or safety concerns, you’ll need to stop all postal delivery, including statements from their bank.
- Qualified tax accountant: If there are any outstanding taxes or frozen bank accounts, contact an accountant to obtain a tax release.
With these resources in hand, call US Bank so that you can start managing your loved one's assets. The following are the numbers explicitly listed on their site:
- Consumer checking/savings: 24-Hour Banking at 800-872-2657
- Business checking/savings: 24-Hour Banking at 800-673-3555
- Outside the United States: Call collect at 503-401-9991
Another consideration is your loved one’s digital imprints, something called a digital afterlife. This is a valid reason you’ll want to stop receiving postal mail as soon as possible. Any sensitive information about your loved one’s life leaves a literal paper trail.
If you have any further concerns about the digital afterlife, bring it up in conversation when speaking with your attorney. They’ll be able to provide answers or appropriate guidance.
Get it in writing
One last step. Obtain a written statement with a corresponding date on bank letterhead stating that the account has officially been closed.
How to Close Your Own US Bank Account
Outside resources such as consumer “answer websites” and other customer comments provide one or two pieces of crucial information not listed on US Bank’s website.
Open an account at a new bank first
Compare other options and find the one that best suits your needs. Often, people will choose a bank because their family uses it or prefers how the institution governs.
Either way, this first step helps make transferring funds and online bill pay easier to manage. That, and you’ll have a ready debit card to use versus waiting for one to arrive in the mail.
Online bill pay
Set up your online bill pay to match the one with your soon-to-be-former bank to avoid hassles and ensure a smooth transition of accounts and bills due.
If you set up automatic or pre-authorized withdrawals from your old bank account, such as online movie streaming, online marketplace shopping, automatic monthly deliveries, computer data storage, etc., you’ll want to shift these to your new account as well.
Moving these automatic payments will help avoid interruptions of service as well as overdraft fees from the account you’re closing.
Transfer your money from US Bank to your new bank
As per the agreement you signed with the bank, transferring money from a US account requires that you notify the bank of your intentions. If you do not, there are a few things they could do, such as:
- Close your account without telling you, which deletes any overdraft protection. Without overdraft protection, you could incur fees from pre-authorized withdrawals on your account.
- Withhold a certain balance to cover any fees at their discretion.
- Have you wait up to ten days for account closure notification, resulting in some avoidable headaches.
If you understand these US Bank discretionary allotments but still choose to withdraw your balance down to zero, note that there may be daily withdrawal limits.
Contact the bank
Often banks will place a hold on your account for a specific time frame to hold you liable for any missed steps in bill-pay or automatic withdrawals. This is a standard procedure as banks want to ensure a smooth transition on their end as well.
Pay the fee
If your account has been open with the US Bank for less than 180 days, you may be subject to an early cancelation fee. To avoid the fee, return to the bank on day 181 and then close the account entirely.
If annual or monthly fees generally apply to your account, you’ll have to weigh those fees against the automatic charge. It’s a judgment call.
Last but not least
Ask for a written statement with a corresponding date on the bank letterhead stating that the account is officially closed. File this statement along with any records necessary to keep for tax purposes.
Password Managers and Bank Accounts
Privacy is a huge concern in this digital age. But using a password manager can be very helpful both for you and those loved ones handling your online and digital profile.
Join Cake today so you can learn how to find support for these questions and many more that may come up as you start your end-of-life planning.
- MyBankTracker. (2019). How to Close Your Bank Account Properly. https://money.usnews.com/banking/articles/how-to-close-your-bank-account-properly
- US Bank. (2020). Your Deposit Account Agreement & General Terms & Conditions Electronic Transfers Funds Availability. https://www.usbank.com/pdf/Deposit-Account-Agreement.pdf