How do you close out a joint checking account when your spouse dies?

My spouse died suddenly a few months ago, after a few years in a nursing home. We had a small joint account where his social security check was deposited. I would then write a check to the nursing home for most of the social security check each month.

There is probably about $500 in this joint account. My spouse will not have an estate, since his assets were used to pay for nursing home care.

I would like to close out this account. I know that I will have to take a copy of the death certificate to the bank, but will they close out the account and issue the funds to me as his spouse and co-owner of the account? I suppose I could endorse the check over to a bill that his name still appears on, if they gave me a check in both names. I guess I could also write checks against the joint account to those bills and draw down the $500 too, or just write a check to the IRS for our final joint return and handle it that way.

I'm confused about how to handle this since there isn't any estate, and there won't be an administrator or executor.

Thanks for your tips.

3 Answers

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  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    if your name is on the account as either the co-owner or beneficiary then all you need is a picture ID of you & a copy of his death certificate when you go in person to the bank to close out his bank account.

  • Tricia
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    it may be best to wait to close until the estate is settled. as you've said there are death expenses that need to be cleared up. all this will need to be probated and accounted for. this takes time. meanwhile you still have access to funds

    Source(s): experience
  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    report the bank soon a possible the spouse death, ! proof of death

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