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Course description

When a customer dies, you should have procedures in place to address the common questions. How long can the bank honor checks on the customer’s account? When does a joint owner assume ownership of the account? What can be done with checks payable to the deceased? What about payable-on-death accounts? Can an attorney-in-fact write checks to pay final expenses? How important are local newspaper obituaries? Can small accounts be claimed without expensive probate proceedings? What happens to safe deposit boxes?

There is obviously a lot to be concerned with. And it isn't an easy matter for the bank, or for those your customer leaves behind. You must balance bank procedures with compassion

In this program, we examine how a customer's death impacts deposit accounts, CDs and safe deposit boxes.

John will cover these questions and topics in this informative two hour webinar:

  • Paying checks after a customer's death
  • Proper handling of ACH items after a customer has died.
  • How do you handle interest earned after the date of a customer's death?
  • What is the impact of the death of a joint owner?
  • What are the practical issues on POD accounts?
  • What happens when the decedent's account is under sole ownership?
  • Restyling joint accounts after one owner has died
  • May checks be deposited after death if they are payable to the decedent?
  • Automatic termination of powers of attorney and authorized signer access
  • Treasury check and Treasury deposit matters
  • Checking obituaries – Yes or No?
  • Strong internal controls/dormancy issues
  • Flagging accounts and safe deposit boxes
  • Payment of funeral expenses from an individual account owned by a decedent
  • Privacy issues -- releasing information about the decedent's account to third parties. Where do you draw the line?
  • What do you give as the reason when you return checks on a decedent's account?
  • How death affects: 
    • sole proprietorship accounts
    • accounts on which the individual was an authorized signer (including entity accounts)
    • trusts on which the individual was grantor or trustee
    • safe deposit boxes leased by the decedent, with deputies
    • Authority of authorized, convenience and agent signers
    • ACH items and notice of death
    • Returned mail
  • Using common sense as part of your response

Don't wait to get this important customer-service information on-the-job, when a lack of knowledge can present a poor image of you and your bank …  or lead to costly mistakes!  



John Burnett

John Burnett is a 1979 alumnus of the ABA National Compliance School, and served on its faculty for several years. He graduated with honors with the Class of 1990 from ABA's Stonier Graduate School of Banking, and is also a graduate of the BAIs and the Massachusetts Banker Associations Schools of Banking.John began his banking career in high school when he started as a teller at a $15 million bank that didn't have account numbers for its checking accounts (he says they actually filed by signature!) He joined Cape Cod Bank and Trust Company in 1971 and assumed the position of Compliance Officer in 1976. He also served as corporate secretary and secretary of CCBT's Board of Directors, as well as Clerk of the bank's holding company. John joined Glia Group, Inc. and the BankersOnline.com team in June, 2004. He is a frequent presenter of BOL Learning Connect webinars, and at BOL Conferences events.He was a member of the Massachusetts Bankers Association Legal and Regulatory Compliance Committee, and a former member of the American Bankers Association Compliance Executive Committee and NCS/NGCS Advisory Board. He served on ABA's Truth in Savings Task Force as Regulation DD was being written, and has served on several ABA and Massachusetts Bankers seminar panels.

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Access Webinar

  • 2


    • Slides

    • Materials

    • Questions and Answers


4 star rating

When Customer Dies

Stacy Arnold

Great job and great material to keep for future reference

Great job and great material to keep for future reference

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