We care so much about material possessions and accumulating wealth, but when you die, none of it really matters for you anymore. However, you also don’t want your money to end up in the wrong hands. So what happens to the bank accounts of a deceased customer? Find out right now!
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1. POD beneficiary
People have been using banks for centuries, which is why it is completely unsurprising that there is a special procedure to handle the finances after the death of the customer. All you need to do is select your payable-on-death beneficiary, or POD beneficiary, and supply the necessary legal paperwork to the bank.
As a result, when you die, the POD beneficiary can simply visit the bank with your death certificate and the beneficiary’s own identification. The bank will refer to the POD beneficiary request you have previously filed and will hand the person the money you had in your account without any probate procedures.
2. Joint account
The second best case scenario when you die while having a certain amount of money in the bank is when you have a joint account with your spouse. It is a very common practice in the modern world to share a single bank account with your husband or wife to make things easier.
When you have a joint account, there will be absolutely no problems in case one of you dies. The other person will simply need to provide proof of death, and the bank will consider the surviving spouse the sole owner of the account and the money in it.
At the same time, there is a caveat if you share an account with someone other than your spouse. For example, some people prefer to include their children or parents into their bank accounts to give their relatives easy access to the family funds. In that case, the person sharing your bank account with you will get access to all the funds, which may not be what you originally intended. You can still create a joint bank account with anyone you want, but you might think about creating a will to make sure your finances are handled the way you want after your death.
Perhaps, the most complicated case of handing the bank account of a diseased person is when the person did not leave any requests at the bank and did not share the account with any of their relatives, instead of creating a regular will or not leaving any instructions or will at all.
In that case, the funds in the bank account will be frozen from the moment the bank is notified of the person’s death and until the beneficiary is proven to have rights to the money. The intended beneficiary will need to submit the death certificate and the deceased person’s, or the death certificate alone in case there is no will, to the Probate Court.
The Probate Court will then review the case and grant the rights to handle the deceased person’s estate to the applicant, provided that there is sufficient proof that the applicant is really the beneficiary of the estate. When the paperwork is ready, all you need to do is visit the bank and inform the manager of the way you want to handle the money in the deceased person’s bank account.
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