Account Ownership Information

SINGLE OWNER ACCOUNTS For single owner accounts, on death of the owner, ownership of the account passes as a part of the party’s estate under the party’s will or by intestacy. The person authorized to handle the estate (established by probate process) will need to present the proper probate document establishing their authority.

Joint/Multiple party accounts are owned by more than one person. There are two joint/multiple party account ownerships:

Joint/Multiple party account with right of survivorship: any surviving owner becomes the owner of the account after one owner passes away. The title of the account will be updated to reflect the names of the surviving owner(s) once we have the certified copy of the death certificate, an updated, signed signature card agreement and, if required, any state specific documents.

Joint/Multiple party account without survivorship: in cases where the joint account does not include survivorship, the parties to the account own the account in proportion to the parties’ net contributions to the account. The bank may pay any sum in the account to a party at any time. On the death of a party, the party’s ownership of the account passes as part of the party’s estate under the party’s will or by intestacy.


An account owner may name one or more beneficiaries for an account during his or her lifetime. When the last account owner passes away, the funds in the account belong to the beneficiary(ies).

  • The beneficiary or beneficiaries must provide notarized letters of instruction in addition to the death certificate.
  • Each beneficiary must also provide a valid ID.

Both joint accounts with right of survivorship and POD account transfers are considered non-probate transfers – they pass outside the estate.

For accounts that are part of large estates, the court-appointed estate representative will typically close any accounts in the decedent’s name and open an estate account, upon presentation of the appropriate probate documents. Refer to “Opening an Estate Account.”