BANK ACCOUNTS/SAFETY DEPOSIT BOXES

Because banks are subject to both state and federal regulations, procedures can vary greatly from bank to bank. Contact your bank directly to determine the amount of money accessible and learn the procedures for releasing these funds. 

At least one joint checking or savings account should be left open for at least six months. This will allow you to deposit any checks that you are entitled to but are in the deceased's name. When the time comes to take the deceased's name off the account, the bank will ask you for a certified copy of the Death Certificate (ask if they will accept a photocopy).

If a safety deposit box is in the sole ownership of the deceased, banks will require a Certified Copy of the Death Certificate and Letters of Administration to gain access to the contents. For co-owned safety deposit boxes, the rules vary from state to state. Call your bank for their requirements.