Estate Planning 101

Notifying Wells Fargo After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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The loss of a loved one often comes with a series of tasks that need to be completed to close their affairs properly. One such task is notifying the financial institutions where they held accounts, including credit card companies like Wells Fargo. This step ensures that the account is closed and helps avoid any potential identity theft or fraudulent charges.

Who Should Be Notified

If your loved one had a credit card with Wells Fargo, it's crucial to notify the bank promptly to close the account and settle any remaining balance.

When to Notify

Ideally, Wells Fargo should be notified of the cardholder’s death as soon as possible. This helps prevent any additional charges, interest, or potential fraud on the account.

How to Notify

To notify Wells Fargo, you can call their customer service line at 1-800-869-3557. You will likely need to provide the deceased’s full name, address, and date of birth. You will also need to provide a copy of the death certificate, which can be mailed or faxed to the bank.

What to Expect After Notification

After the notification, Wells Fargo will close the credit card account and provide information on any remaining balance. If the deceased owed a balance, the bank would typically seek payment from the deceased’s estate. If there are joint account holders or authorized users, they will also provide information on how this situation is handled.

Tips for Notification

When dealing with Wells Fargo or any bank, it's important to keep a record of all interactions including the names of representatives you speak with, dates and times of the conversations, and any actions taken. This can help resolve any potential issues or discrepancies that might arise later.

Conclusion

While it may seem like a small task amidst the many responsibilities after a loved one's passing, notifying Wells Fargo about the death is an important step. It ensures the account is closed, helps prevent potential identity theft, and allows for the proper settling of any remaining balance.

FAQ

Q: What if I can't find the credit card or don't know the account number?
A: Wells Fargo can usually locate the account using the deceased’s name, date of birth, and Social Security number.

Q: What happens to the outstanding balance on the credit card?
A: Any outstanding balance is typically paid by the deceased’s estate. If the estate doesn't have sufficient funds, the debt may be discharged. However, laws vary by state, so it's best to consult with an attorney or financial advisor.

Q: What if there was a joint account holder or authorized user?
A: A joint account holder is typically responsible for any remaining balance. An authorized user is not responsible for the debt, but they should stop using the card immediately.