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What happens to a bank account in the event of death?

Verified 31 octobre 2019 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Individual account

As soon as the bank is certain of the death of the holder (by the relatives or by a notary), it blocks the account.

It shall no longer record any deposit or withdrawal transactions, with the exception in particular of payment of funeral expenses, costs of last sickness and taxes due by the deceased (and up to €5,000).

Proxies, if any, cease to be effective.

The fate of the balance (positive or negative) is settled at the same time as the succession..

Joined account

The fate of the account is specified in the account agreement..

As a general rule, 2 provisions are made:

  • the account is not blocked, unless the heirs of the deceased co-owner object,
  • the account continues to be the account of the surviving co-holders (or automatically becomes an individual bank account, if there is only one surviving co-owner).

In the event of a positive balance on the day of death, the question of the determination and fate of the share belonging to the deceased shall form part of the general rules of succession.

In the event of a negative balance, the bank may ask the surviving holder(s) to cover all the corresponding amounts.

Undivided Account

As soon as the bank is certain of the death of a co-owner (by the relatives or by a notary), it blocks the undivided account :: it no longer records any deposit or withdrawal transactions.

There is no exception to this detention even in the presence of an agent and regardless of the relationship between the deceased and the co-owner of the account.

The fate of the undivided account and its balance (positive or negative) is settled at the same time as the whole estate.