Estate Planning 101

Notifying SunTrust Banks After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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Following the death of a loved one, it's necessary to inform various institutions and organizations, including their bank. If your deceased loved one held an account with SunTrust (now Truist), notifying the bank will help settle the account, prevent fraudulent activities, and possibly access funds for covering final expenses.

Who Should Be Notified

SunTrust Bank, now known as Truist after merging with BB&T, should be notified if the deceased held any type of account with them. This includes checking or savings accounts, credit cards, loans, or any other financial product.

When to Notify

It's advisable to notify the bank as soon as possible after the death. This helps prevent any potential issues with unauthorized transactions or identity theft.

How to Notify

To report a death to SunTrust, you can call their Client Services at 1-800-786-8787. You can also visit a local branch in person. You'll typically need to provide a copy of the death certificate, and if you're the executor of the estate, you may need to provide documentation proving your authority to manage the deceased's affairs.

What to Expect After Notification

Once the bank is notified, they'll freeze the deceased's accounts and stop any automatic payments. Depending on the account type, the funds may be released to the named beneficiary or transferred to the estate. In the case of joint accounts, the funds will typically become the sole property of the surviving account holder. The bank will guide you through these steps.

Tips for Notification

Keep copies of all correspondence with the bank and make note of any phone calls, including the date, time, and the representative you spoke with. This can be helpful if any discrepancies arise later. Additionally, it's advisable to consult with an attorney or financial advisor to understand how the process will impact the overall estate settlement.

Conclusion

Notifying SunTrust Bank of a loved one's death is a vital step in settling their financial affairs. By doing so promptly and thoroughly, you can help ensure a smooth process and protect the deceased's assets.

FAQ

Q: What happens to any outstanding debts?
A: If the deceased had any loans or credit card debt with the bank, these will typically be paid out of the estate. If the estate can't cover the debt, it may be forgiven, but this can vary depending on the circumstances.

Q: Can I access the deceased's safe deposit box at the bank?
A: Access to a safe deposit box after death varies by state law. At SunTrust, you typically need a court order or to be named in the will as having access. The bank can provide specific guidance.

Q: What if the deceased had online banking?
A: The bank will typically deactivate online banking access when notified of the death. The executor or next of kin might be granted access, but this varies depending on the situation and local laws.