There’s a lot to do after a loved one dies. You need to notify family, friends, and work colleagues, and at the same time, you need to begin making funeral arrangements. In the midst of making all these decisions, you need to start notifying your loved one’s account holders of the death to ensure that no fraudulent activity appears on the account.
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If you found a Wells Fargo debit or credit card in your loved one’s wallet, you’ll need to notify the company about the death. Here are the steps on how to close a Wells Fargo account when your loved one passes.
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 Wells Fargo Account
As a part of your executor duties, you’ll need to make sure all accounts are settled before distributing assets to the beneficiaries. This process is dependent on a lot of factors, one of which is the state of residence of the deceased.
Here are some general steps for closing a Wells Fargo account, but it is important to realize that every situation is different.
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Step 1: Notify Wells Fargo of the death of your loved one
To limit the likelihood of fraudulent activity on your loved one’s account, notify Wells Fargo of your loved one’s death. The customer service representative may put a hold on the entire account or your loved one’s card, depending upon the situation.
You may be instructed to cut up your loved one’s cards. For more information on this process, read our article, How to Cancel Credit Cards After a Death: Step-By-Step.
Step 2: Locate the will or trust
If a will or trust does exist, you may still want to consult with an estate attorney to follow the terms of the documents. If a will or trust does not exist, it may be necessary to go to probate court to have an estate representative appointed.
Step 3: Discuss the situation with the estate attorney
Depending on the estate’s size and complexity, you may need the assistance of an estate attorney. They will review the will or trust and advise you of the next steps you need to take.
Step 4: Determine your role
Based on the documents of your loved one’s estate and the advice of the estate lawyer, determine whose legal duty it is to follow the terms of the will or the trust.
Step 5: Gather the necessary documents
It’s challenging to make a complete list of all the necessary documents you need to gather before meeting with the Wells Fargo representative. It’s dependent upon the type of account and the state of residence of the deceased.
Generally, here are the documents you may need for three different types of accounts:
- Individual account
You’ll need the full name and social security number of the deceased and a death certificate. You may also need a court-issued document appointing an executor/administrator of the estate or a small estate affidavit according to state laws.
- Jointly-held accounts or accounts with named beneficiaries
You’ll need the full name and social security number of the deceased and a death certificate. You also may require the identification of the joint account holder or beneficiaries.
- Trust accounts
Again, you’ll need the full name and social security number of the deceased and a death certificate. You will also need the Certificate of Trust naming a successor trustee.
Step 6: Go to a Wells Fargo branch near you.
You may want to set an appointment with someone at your local branch and confirm what documents you’ll need to bring. Take the necessary documents to a Wells Fargo branch to discuss closing your loved one’s account.
If you can’t go to a Wells Fargo branch, you can complete the account closing by mailing a notarized Letter of Instruction to the following address:
Wells Fargo Exception Payments
Attn: Estate Processing
7711 Plantation Road, 1st Floor
Roanoke, VA 24019
How to Close Your Own Wells Fargo Account
Perhaps you have your own account that you no longer need. Here are the steps for closing your Wells Fargo account.
Step 1: Notify companies and organizations with access to your account
Does your gym membership automatically come out of your bank account each month? Does your employer pay you with an electronic deposit into your account at the end of each pay period? Avoid disruptions to your life by making sure these institutions have a new account from which to deposit or withdraw funds.
Step 2: Make sure all the transactions have gone through
Did you write a check for Girl Scout cookies that still hasn’t cleared the bank? Maybe you scheduled a bill to be paid later this month from the account you plan to close.
Make sure all the transactions go through before you close your Wells Fargo account.
Step 3: Make sure your account has a zero or positive balance
Only accounts with a zero or positive balance may be closed. Keep in mind that Wells Fargo will continue to collect a service fee until the account is officially closed.
Step 4: Notify Wells Fargo of your intention to close your account
You can complete this notification process in one of three ways.
First, you can visit your local branch and talk with an account representative who will help you close your account.
The second option is to take care of the process over the phone. Call 800-869-3557.
Finally, you could also fill out this form and mail it to the following address:
Wells Fargo Bank
N.A. Exception Payments Account Closures MAC N9160-01X
P.O. Box 9102
Minneapolis, MN 55480-9102
The form needs to be notarized.
There Are a Lot of Little Things To Do When a Loved One Dies
There are plenty of checklists and how-to guides for what to do when a loved one dies. While we are sure that you’ll remember to notify your loved one’s bank and mortgage company, there are little tasks to complete as well.
For example, your loved one may have some money in an electronic payment account. Check their computer password manager to find out about such accounts that they may have been accessing online.
You may also want to decide what to do about your loved one’s social media accounts. Taking care of a person’s digital afterlife is a new phenomenon that should be carefully considered before drastic action is taken.
Rely on the largest end-of-life platform on the internet when checking these items off your list and making those difficult decisions. We are here to help!
- “Estate Care Center.” Wells Fargo. www.wellsfargo.com/help/estate-care-center/
- “Opening and Closing Accounts Questions.” Wells Fargo. www.wellsfargo.com/help/checking-savings/open-close-account-faqs