When a family member dies, what happens to their bank accounts?

When a family member dies, what happens to their bank accounts?

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2021 | Blog, Estate Planning |

In the immediate aftermath of the death of a loved one, there can be significant emotional upheaval and confusion. And these emotions can be even more complicated to process if you are attempting to access some of this person’s funds to pay for necessary funeral and end-of-life expenses. If you live in Louisiana and are unclear as to what may happen to your family member’s bank accounts after they are gone, read on.

Type of bank account

There are several different types of bank accounts that individuals can create in their lifetimes. A standard bank account that only lists the deceased will likely need to go to through the succession process (also known as “probate”).  Regardless, single-payer accounts will need to be closed at some point.

In contrast to standard bank accounts, it is possible to set up joint bank accounts with rights of survivorship or payable-on-death accounts. Each of these allows the other named person to have access to the bank account immediately without having to go through the probate process. Ultimately, these types of accounts make it easier for family members to have access to the money.

Legal services

If it is ever unclear as to whom the bank accounts belong, understanding the legal system and rights will be beneficial to the surviving family members. Many will want to work with an estate planning attorney to gain valuable information and help put their loved one’s estate in order.

Knowing what will happen to your family member’s bank account after their demise largely depends on the type of bank account they had. The above information should help you best determine the type of account they had and what will likely happen in the coming weeks with each account. And if at any time you have a concern about the legal requirements for the bank accounts, seeking guidance from a reputable legal source could prove helpful.