Single Again - FAQs After A Loss

For your convenience, we have listed answered several frequently asked questions regarding changes members often wish to make to their accounts after losing a loved one. We know that every circumstance is personal and unique. Commonwealth Credit Union Member Service Representatives are available to assist you at any branch, by phone, or via email.

Account Information

How do I take a name off an account?

Generally, you will have one of two options. The first is to close the joint account and open a new account in your name only. The second may depend upon who is the primary owner of the account. If you are primary, you may be able to remove the name of the deceased by presenting the death certificate.

Do I have to order new checks?

If you keep the same account, it is not necessary to order new checks. Obviously, opening a new account will require a new check order.

Will checks written by my loved one prior to his/her death still clear the account?

Yes, these checks will still clear the account.

What happens if a check is issued in both of our names such as a tax check? Can I cash the check?

If the check is a government check the check will have to be reissued. Any other type of check will be accepted as long as we have a copy of the death certificate and the person negotiating the check is the personal representative of the estate.

Do I need a certified copy of a death certificate or can I bring you an original to make a copy?

You must present a certified copy, but we will be happy to make a copy of it for our records.

My spouse has direct deposit of Social Security Funds. Those funds were deposited on 1/5/13 and my spouse passed away 1/2/13.  Are we still entitled to those funds? 

By regulation the credit union is required to return the funds if the receiver was deceased at the time of deposit. If you feel you are entitled to any funds we have returned, please contact SSA at 1-800-772-1213 and have your spouse’s social security number available.

My spouse passed away; do I have to put our accounts into just my name? 

Yes, for tax reporting all accounts must be in the name of a living person. Estate account options are also available.

Our accounts were in my spouse’s name as primary account holder and I am joint. How long do I have to put these accounts into my name?

Ownership on the account(s) must be made as soon as you have the original death certificate.

My spouse passed away and had an individual account. My spouse did not list me as beneficiary. Do I legally have access to those funds?

No, you do not automatically have access to the funds. Your next step is to visit the courts to get personal representative documents to access the account.

We had a joint share certificate; can I cash in the CD before the maturity date and without penalty to pay for the funeral costs? 

Yes, you can close the savings certificate due to a death with no penalties. We need a copy of the death certificate.

Loans and Credit

Do I have to make changes to any loans that I have with the credit union?

If you are the spouse, and you were both on the loans then no changes would need to take place with the loan.

Can I just cut up the credit card that will not be used anymore?

No, for security purposes you would need to close any credit card so that when it expires it does not get reissued.

What do I do if I can no longer afford the loan payments?

Please visit your nearest branch and speak with a representative to determine the options available to you.

How do I find out if my loved one has taken out individual credit?

You would need to contact the credit bureau(s) directly.

How do I know if we have a life insurance policy on our loans?

We have the information on the original loan documents. If there is insurance, we will submitted the appropriate paperwork as soon as we have a copy of the death certificate.

Other Finance

How do I handle my taxes? Do I file jointly or individually?

Please contact your tax advisor for your best options.