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#2226206 - 11/22/19 07:24 PM Decedent's Name on Account for Sentimental Reasons
ComplianceGurl, CRCM Offline
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Our procedures state that once an owner of a joint account dies, we remove them from the account so that they are no longer an owner. We have a customer whose mother passed away and they jointly owned an account. We removed the decedent from the account, however, the daughter would like to keep her mothers name in the title line for sentimental reasons. With no other suspicious or unusual activity, does anyone see a problem with this?

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#2226207 - 11/22/19 07:26 PM Re: Decedent's Name on Account for Sentimental Reasons ComplianceGurl, CRCM
BrianC Offline
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Illinois
Yes. It allows checks to be deposited into the account payable only to the decedent that actually below to the decedent's estate.
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#2226208 - 11/22/19 07:28 PM Re: Decedent's Name on Account for Sentimental Reasons ComplianceGurl, CRCM
ComplianceGurl, CRCM Offline
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Great point BrianC! Thank you!

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#2226258 - 11/25/19 03:51 PM Re: Decedent's Name on Account for Sentimental Reasons ComplianceGurl, CRCM
John Burnett Offline
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Banking is a business proposition, whether for a business or for individuals. Sentiment isn't a reason to ignore best business practices. I have heard of banks that have allowed a customer to keep using checks on a joint account after the other joint owner has died, probably to avoid the costs of an early reorder. Some have even argued that keeping a deceased co-owner's name on checks is a security measure for the surviving co-owner, but I think that seems like it diminishes the image of the survivor as a competent individual.

The bank's account records should be updated as soon as reasonably possible. Allowing some measure of time for surviving family to grieve, 30 days seems like a reasonable limit.
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#2226321 - 11/26/19 03:44 AM Re: Decedent's Name on Account for Sentimental Reasons ComplianceGurl, CRCM
JacF Offline

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Posts: 6,719
PA
I agree with John and Brian.

To help with how you view how a depositor's passing relates to account ownership, consider your statement:
"once an owner of a joint account dies, we remove them from the account so that they are no longer an owner"

It is more accurate to say:
"once an owner of a joint account dies, we remove them from the account because they are no longer an owner"

The ownership of the account changed when your customer passed. Your retitling of the account simply brings the account record up to date with the new state of reality.

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#2226328 - 11/26/19 01:34 PM Re: Decedent's Name on Account for Sentimental Reasons ComplianceGurl, CRCM
Skittles Offline
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TN
I may be way off base here, but could you keep the mother's name on the statement like you would 'household account' and not actually on the account any longer?

Jane Doe
Household Account (insert mother's name here)
1234 Main Street
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#2226330 - 11/26/19 01:38 PM Re: Decedent's Name on Account for Sentimental Reasons ComplianceGurl, CRCM
rlcarey Online
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Galveston, TX
A bank statement represents sentimental value? I think you just need to remove the name and move on so as to not create an issue down the road as pointed out above by John.
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#2226372 - 11/26/19 08:51 PM Re: Decedent's Name on Account for Sentimental Reasons ComplianceGurl, CRCM
John Burnett Offline
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Cape Cod
Many banks have tellers that will blindly accept a check payable to John Doe for deposit to an account styled as John Doe and Mary Doe even if you have set a flag in the account record to indicate that John has died. The account belongs to Mary, not to John and Mary, and John's heirs might take issue with the fact the Mary gets the money. It can cost the bank. Update the account expeditiously to show its correct ownership.
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