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How to Notify Bank of America When a Customer Passes Away

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Information to help you get started

We understand this is an emotionally stressful time, and that navigating through a loved one's financial affairs can be challenging. We hope this information related to our role in this process will be helpful. Please call us to discuss your situation; we're here to help. We also recommend you contact your financial and legal advisors for assistance.

Steps to take now

Call our Estate Unit at 888.689.4466 or visit a local financial center. We may ask for your loved one's full legal name, Social Security number, and banking information including account numbers.

  • Obtain at least one certified copy of the death certificate . You can send us a legible photocopy; however, depending on the circumstances we may require a certified copy. Once we receive the death certificate, we may request additional documents.
  • Upon notification, we will assign a case number for your reference. Please include the case number on any documents you provide us.

Questions you may have

Please call us with any specific questions or concerns about your situation.

Why does Bank of America need a copy of the death certificate?

The death certificate gives us the information needed to verify the identity and legal residence of our customer.

Can I send Bank of America a photocopy of the death certificate?

You can send a legible photocopy; however, depending on the circumstances, we may require a certified copy.

Where do I get the death certificate?

A certified copy of the death certificate is generally available from the funeral director or from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the applicable state, county, parish or territory. You may also need multiple certified copies of the death certificate when dealing with various institutions. The complexity of the estate and the number of institutions with which your loved one conducted business will help you determine the number of copies you need.

How should I deliver the death certificate to Bank of America?

You can take the document to any Bank of America financial center, email us layer, fax it to 866.694.9046 or mail it to:

Bank of America
Estate Unit
PO Box 31655
Tampa, FL 33631-1655

What other documents might Bank of America ask for?

It depends on your specific circumstances. The laws of the state of residence of the deceased provide state-specific rules for requesting and transferring your loved one's funds, which may impose additional requirements. We'll work with you on what may be required specific to your needs.

  • For formal probate we may request court-issued letters testamentary or letters of administration appointing an executor or administrator.
  • For small estates we may request a properly executed small estate affidavit or court order, in accordance with state laws.
How are accounts transferred after an account owner passes away?

This can vary based on the specific type of account ownership. For example, for individually owned accounts, the applicable transfer process (formal probate, small estate process) generally determines when an account will be closed. The person authorized to handle the estate will need to present the state-specific documents establishing their authority. Our Resources and Information guide (PDF, requires Install Adobe Reader for PDF) provides additional details about account ownerships, including individually owned accounts, joint accounts, trusts and POD (payable on death) accounts.

How long will it take for funds to be released?

As the specifics of each account are different, the time it may take to settle an account will also vary. In general, we begin to process a request as soon as we receive the necessary documents.

Are there other bank-related products or services that may require attention?

Yes, some possibilities to consider include:

  • Online banking IDs and scheduled bill payments
  • Direct deposits
  • Debits, loan payments, scheduled Automated Clearing House (ACH), or PayPlan (mortgage, auto, boat,   student, etc.)
  • Credit card payments and rewards
  • Investment and Retirement accounts
  • Insurance products
  • Safe deposit box accounts
Can rewards be redeemed for a Bank of America credit card after the cardholder passes away?

If the credit card account is closed in connection with a death or incapacity of the card account owner, rewards eligible for redemption may be redeemed if an authorized representative of the estate requests rewards redemption. The redemption provisions outlined below will only apply if Bank of America administers the rewards program and do not apply to jointly held accounts where there is at least one surviving owner of an account. To determine if the rewards program is administered by Bank of America, please call us at the telephone number below.

To redeem rewards on a credit card rewards program administered by Bank of America:

  • The authorized representative of the estate, as determined by us, must request rewards redemption. If the account is not paid in full at the time of the request, the authorized representative of the estate must indicate the remaining account balance will be paid in full, and redemption will not occur until such payment is made. 
  • Redemption and payment of any remaining account balance must occur within 57 days of account closure.
  • Rewards will be redeemed in the name of the deceased primary cardholder; if mailed, rewards will be sent to the address we have on file for the deceased primary cardholder.

Whether rewards are eligible for redemption depends on the final status of the account(s), is subject to the account being paid in full, and is in our sole discretion. If there is any outstanding balance on the account(s), please be advised that we are not attempting to collect this debt from the authorized estate representative individually; instead, we are seeking payment from the assets of the decedent’s estate.

If you have any questions, please call us at 888.689.4466.

Document Definitions

Learn about some of the documents you may need to obtain and submit layer. Please contact your financial or legal advisor for help with obtaining the proper documentation.

We may ask you to complete additional bank forms depending on your circumstances.

Contact us

By phone:
888.689.4466

By fax:
886.694.9046

By mail:
Bank of America
Estate Unit
PO BOX 31655
Tampa, FL 33631-1655

By email:
Send documents via email to estateservicing@bankofamerica.com

Document Submission Tips

  • Please include your case number at the top of each document you provide us
  • Include your full name, address, and phone number if you would like to be contacted
  • Please make sure documents are legible to avoid delays in processing. We strongly discourage you from sending personal information via email unless it is sent through a secure method as sending personal information through unsecured email may place your information at risk of being seen by unauthorized parties.

terms and definitions

Administrator: The person or corporation appointed by a court to settle the estate of a deceased person if no valid will can be found or if there is a will and the named fiduciary does not serve.

Letters of Administration: Court documents obtained by the person or corporation appointed by a court to settle the estate of a deceased person if no valid will can be found or if there is a will and the named fiduciary does not serve.

Beneficiary: Person or persons who receive the assets of an estate after all debts are satisfied. Also, a person named in an informal trust as In Trust For (ITF) or Payable on Death (POD) beneficiary on bank records.

Estate: The assets and liabilities left by the decedent.

Executor/Executrix: Person or corporation appointed by a will to settle the estate of a deceased person and approved by the court to serve as such.

Fiduciary: A person who has been entrusted with the responsibility to manage the assets or rights of another person. A Fiduciary may be referred to as a Guardian, Conservator, Executor or Administrator, Trustee, Representative Payee, Custodian or in some cases an Attorney-In-Fact (Agent).

Letter Testamentary: Court documents obtained by the executor/executrix confirming his or her appointment as the personal representative with authority to settle an estate.

Probate: The process of gathering a decedent’s assets, paying the creditors and any taxes owed and then distributing the remainder according to the will (testate distribution) or state law (intestate distribution), as applicable.

Will: A legal document in which a person includes instructions for the distribution of his or her property and possessions after death.

death certificate

You may generally obtain a certified copy of the death certificate from the funeral director who handled the deceased's funeral arrangements or the local Registry of Birth, Deaths and Marriages in the applicable State/County/Parish/Territory.

Small Estate Affidavit

This document may be used to disperse a deceased customer's account when formal probate is not required under state law. The requirements and availability of this process vary from state to state.

To obtain this form, please consult your personal legal counsel.

Death Certificate

The death certificate gives us the information needed to verify the identity and legal residence of our customer. A certified copy of the death certificate is generally available from the funeral director who handled the deceased's funeral arrangements, as well as from the Registry of Birth, Deaths and Marriages in the applicable state/county/parish/territory. You may need multiple certified copies of the death certificate when dealing with various institutions in settling the deceased’s affairs. The complexity of the estate and the number of institutions with which the deceased conducted business will help you determine the number of copies you need.

Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration

These documents are issued by the court when formal probate of an estate is required under applicable state law. Either of these documents serves to confirm the identity of the deceased account holder and party/parties who have authority to handle the estate.

To obtain this form, please consult your personal legal counsel.