Credit institutions should not permit withdrawals from the accounts of a deceased customer until the distribution of the estate has been made, save in certain cases:
- If authorised to do so by all the heirs:
- Sums to be used to pay funeral expenses.
- Sums to be used to meet payments authorised by the account holder before his/her death and that serve to maintain the estate, such as, for example, payment of taxes, insurance premiums, etc.
- If the deceased was a joint account holder, credit institutions may allow withdrawals ordered by any of the other account holders, according to the terms and conditions of the account:
- If it is an “any-to-sign” account, the bank is obliged to comply with any withdrawal order signed by any of the joint account holders, with no need to inform the heirs or to obtain their consent or agreement.
- If it is an “all-to-sign” account, the bank must comply with withdrawal requests that are signed by all the account holders, with all the heirs signing in lieu of the deceased holder.
The foregoing regarding the use of an account of a deceased customer is applicable in all cases unless, prior to his/her death, the customer expressly indicated the manner in which account withdrawals could be made following his/her death.
Regarding the cancellation of a current account of a deceased customer, the only difference compared with the cancellation of a current account in ordinary circumstances is that the deceased customer’s heirs will act in his/her place. Accordingly, if it is the credit institution that seeks to cancel the account, it must give the usual two months’ notice of such cancellation to all the heirs. If it is the customer that seeks to cancel the account, it must obtain the consent of all the heirs in lieu of the deceased customer, as well as the consent, where appropriate, of all the other account holders.
The foregoing is applicable in all cases unless, prior to his/her death, the customer expressly indicated the manner in which the account was to be cancelled following his/her death.