Withdrawal of funds
Once the testamentary file (expediente de testamentaría) has been processed, banks are obliged to make the funds deposited with them available to the heirs, in the manner determined by the latter and in accordance with the provisions of the distribution document.
The heirs must provide documentary proof that the following steps have been completed: acceptance, distribution and division of the estate and payment of inheritance tax.
Banks should enable the heirs to withdraw the funds belonging to the estate free of charge, but without the heirs being able to impose the way in which they wish to avail themselves of the funds free of charge. Thus, for example, if the bank offers to pay the funds free of charge by cheque but the heirs ask to receive the funds via transfer, refusing payment by cheque, then the bank may charge for the transfer.
The heirs may request that the account be changed into their name or that it be cancelled. In the case of an account held in more than one name, they may request that the deceased’s name be removed. Banks cannot plead operational reasons to justify failure to comply with a request to change the names of the account holders or to cancel an account.
In every case the consent of all the heirs is needed. In addition, such changes will only be possible once the testamentary file has been processed and the bank has received proof of payment of or exemption from inheritance tax.
Find out more in our 2020 Complaints Report (in Spanish) (112 KB)