Handling the Finances of a Deceased Person
We Understand This is a Difficult Time for You, BECU is Here to Help.
Settling the affairs of a loved one can be tough to navigate. We are here to assist you with handling their financial business at BECU.
Refer to the following steps and frequently asked questions to help in settling the accounts of a deceased BECU member.
Steps and Requirements for Reporting a Death to BECU
1. Notify BECU by calling 800-233-2328 or by visiting any BECU location.
2. We will require a certified copy of the death certificate. Certified copies can often be obtained from your state's department of health.
Please Note: If you are appointed Personal Representative or Administrator, please provide us with a certified copy of the Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration. Unfortunately, BECU does not accept wills or provide legal advice. We understand you may have questions and we encourage you to seek answers from a trusted legal professional.
Do you have additional documentation? Bring your documents to any BECU location. You can also mail or fax your documents to:
BECU MS 1094-2
Attention: Account Servicing
PO BOX 97050
Seattle, WA 98124-9750
Q: How long will the deceased member's account(s) remain open?
A: Accounts should be closed as soon as possible. Review “reporting a death to BECU” if you haven't yet done so. Until the account(s) are closed, BECU will continue to report earned interest to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under the member's Social Security number (SSN). Taking quick action and closing the accounts will limit the complications associated with year-end reporting to the IRS caused by using the member's SSN.
Q: How do I manage existing direct deposits with BECU?
A: Contact the companies or agencies depositing the funds to determine what is required. Funds may need to be returned to the paying party. If the member was a Boeing employee, the phone number for Boeing Information Total Access is 866-473-2016.
Q: How do I claim survivor benefits with the Social Security Administration?
A: Call the Social Security Administration as soon as possible at 800-772-1213. Be prepared to provide the following:
Member's social security number
Name of member's last employer
Certified copy of the death certificate
Member's most recent W-2 forms or self-employment tax return showing earnings
Certified copy or original birth certificate of the spouse or any minor children
Divorce papers if the surviving divorced spouse is applying for benefits
Q: How do I find out if the member had automatic payments deducted from a checking account? How do I stop or change those payments?
A: If the Estate is going through Probate, as the personal representative or administrator of the estate, you may obtain copies of statements to review past account activity. If automatic payments are being deducted from the member's account(s), BECU can assist you with transferring or canceling the payments.
Q: I am a joint owner with right of survivorship on the account, and I have my own debit card. Can I still use my card?
A. Yes. As the joint account holder, you retain access to funds. However, if the account was held under the deceased member's Social Security number, close the joint account as soon as possible and open a new individual account. Once the joint account(s) are closed and your new individual account(s) established, we can attach your existing debit card to the new accounts.
Q: I am a joint owner with right of survivorship on the BECU checking account. Can I still write checks?
A: Yes. You have check-writing authority as long as the joint checking account remains open and funds are available in the account. If the account was held under the deceased member's Social Security number, close the joint account as soon as possible and open a new individual account. BECU will order new checks at no cost to you.
Q: I am the designated personal representative of the estate. However, I am not a joint owner on the member's account and I am not a BECU member. Will I be able to access information on the account(s)?
A: Yes, but you must first provide a death certificate and court documents stating you are the personal representative or administrator. After you provide these documents, BECU can provide information about the member's accounts.
Q: What happens to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)?
A: BECU will contact the named beneficiary and begin the process of transferring IRA ownership. If no beneficiary was designated, BECU will work with the personal representative or administrator of the estate to transfer the IRA according to the terms of the IRA and in accordance with the law.
Credit Cards, Auto, Boat, RV, Personal Loans
We will determine if the member had voluntary payment protection on their BECU loan and, if qualified, we will apply any voluntary payment protection proceeds towards their loan balance. Proceeds will be applied as of the date of death. Deposit account balances may also be applied to the outstanding loan balance. Surviving borrower(s), or the member's estate, are responsible for repaying any outstanding loan balances.
The estate must directly pay off remaining loan balances or provide BECU with the necessary documents to properly file a creditor's claim against the estate.
Q: I am a co-borrower on a BECU credit card. Can I continue to use the card?
A: Yes. However, if you are not a member you must establish BECU membership by opening a BECU Member Share savings account before using the card. As the co-borrower, you are responsible to repay any unpaid balance on the credit card (less any voluntary payment protection settlement). You are also responsible for any charges made after the date of death.
Q: I am authorized to use the BECU credit card. Can I continue to use the card?
A: No. Unfortunately, you are not authorized to use the credit card after the cardholder's death. You must either destroy or return your card to BECU.
Equity Advantage, Home Equity, HELOC, Personal Line of Credit
Q: I am the co-borrower on a BECU Mortgage. What happens now?
A: Please contact the BECU Mortgage department as soon as possible at 877-747-2328.
Q: What will happen to the BECU Personal Line of Credit or Home Equity Loan?
A: If the member was the sole borrower, BECU will close the limit, preventing further disbursements. If there is a co-borrower on the account, the co-borrower may continue to use the credit limit and will be responsible for paying any outstanding balance.
Do you wish to continue on with BECU and establish your own membership?
Whether you are looking for checking or savings accounts, auto loans, home finance or wealth management services, we offer a complete range of accounts with great rates and fewer fees. The cooperative credit union model means that your interests come first at BECU. We can assist with many facets of your financial life, from estate accounts to wealth management and investment services.
Learn who's eligible for membership at BECU >>
Q: Do I need an Estate Account?
A: Consider consulting with an estate attorney and/or certified tax professional to find out if your unique situation requires probate . If you do need estate accounts, we offer a way to separate estate holdings from your personal account. You can open estate accounts in the form of savings, checking, money market, and certificates of deposit (CDs), which may help you manage the needs of the deceased's estate during the estate settlement process.
BECU estate accounts have no minimum balance requirements for Member Share savings or checking accounts.
Beneficiary: Person who is to receive property or funds. As long as there is not a joint with rights of survivorship on the account. Then those funds go to the joint account holder.
Community Property Agreement: Document that describes an agreement between two individuals for the property/accounts owned individually by each to be awarded to the surviving individual in the event of a death. Document must be certified by a court or an attorney. This form would have been completed while the couple was living.
Estate: Signifies the total of a person's property, assets and liabilities.
Executor/Executrix: Also called Personal Representative or Court Administrator. This is an individual that settles the estate of the decedent. They have the authority to obtain any information up to the date of death. If there is a joint account holder on accounts at BECU, a release of information authorization must be obtained from the joint owner to release any information after the date of death.
Letters of Testamentary: Document issued by the court naming executor of the estate or naming the personal representative of the estate. Means the person listed in the letter is legally responsible for the estate of the deceased. This person is entitled to the information about the accounts up to the date of death. This does not necessarily authorize disbursement of funds.
Payable on Death (POD): BECU accounts are automatically set up as POD accounts unless instructed to set up as a joint without rights of survivorship.
Probate: Certificate issued by a court that the will of a deceased is legally valid, and that the executors appointed under the will are authorized to administer his or her estate.
Small Estate Settlement by Affidavit: Document that describes accounts with no beneficiary, no estate, no community property agreement and the total funds under $100,000 excluding IRAs. This form can be issued by the court, attorneys, a financial institution or the individual can acquire online. The form must be notarized and there is a 40-day waiting period from date of death.
Member Contact Center (US and Canada)
Business hours: M-F 7:00 am– 7:00 pm, Sat. 9:00 am to 1:00 pm (Pacific Time)
TTY-Deaf or Hard of Hearing (US and Canada)
Business hours: M-F 7:00 am– 7:00 pm, Sat. 9:00 am to 1:00 pm (Pacific Time)
To reach us using a Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS), dial 711 on your phone. You will be automatically connected to an operator. The TRS operator can connect you with BECU toll free at 800-233-2328.
Business hours: 5:30 am– 9:00 pm (Pacific Time)
Social Security Administration
Boeing Information Total Access
CUNA (Credit Life and Disability Insurance)
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Life Insurance: 800-669-8477
The information is for general purposes only. It is not intended to be legal or other advice. The material is provided solely on the basis that the user will take full responsibility for verifying the accuracy, current regulatory requirements, and completeness of all relevant statements. No user should act on the basis of any matter without due consideration, and if necessary, seeking appropriate advice based upon his or her own particular circumstances.