Create a bank account in the estate’s name and close decedent’s bank accounts

As executor, you should never co-mingle your own money with the money of the estate. If you do, it could be grounds for punishment by the court. Only an executor with letters of testamentary may close the bank account of the deceased. If you would like your attorney to manage this process for you, he or she will be happy to do so, and have you sign an authorization letter allowing him/her to close or open accounts on behalf of the estate.

Before closing the account

Before closing an account, it is important to check to see if there are any automatic payments from or to the account. Sometimes the bank will know about these, but sometimes you have to review old statements to figure it out. Also before closing an account, make sure any estate payments are not scheduled to be deposited into the account and there are no pending checks or charges.

One thing to note before closing an account is whether it is an interest-bearing account. If it is, the most responsible thing might be to close the account the day after an interest payment is made, so the account is at its maximum possible value. Generally, you forgo an interest payment for the previous period if you do not wait until it posts.

After closing the account

When you close an account, the money should be transferred into the estate’s bank account. In order to open a bank account in the name of the estate, you will need to obtain a tax identification number for the estate. You should consult with the attorney or accountant for the estate to discuss obtaining the identification number.