Can the bank force me to open an account to receive the money from an inheritance?
Firstly, for the bank to deliver the deceased's funds to his/her heirs, it is necessary to prove the status of heir by submitting a series of documents.
There is no legal procedure that must be followed by the bank to make the balance from an inheritance available. However, once the status of heir has been proved, the financial institution must offer a means of delivering this money free of charge.
Under no circumstances may the bank impose a particular means, such as requiring you to open an account (so the answer to our question above is “no”). As is well known, in order to open an account, the consent of both parties is required (the bank and the customer).
If, for example, the bank offers you the option of opening an account, totally free of charge, for the delivery of the money, you can refuse it. The bank will have to offer you alternative options, such as delivery in cash, also free of charge, or transfer to an account designated by the heirs or a banker’s draft. In the latter cases the institution would be justified in charging a fee as additional services are involved.
If you have any doubts about the administration of an estate, you can access our section on Inheritances.