Death of a Family Member

Citadel understands the loss of a loved one is extremely difficult and you need support during this time. Ensuring your family member’s financial accounts are handled appropriately can be a challenge, which is why we are here to help.

Notifying Citadel of a Loved One's Passing

In the event of a loss of a loved one, please notify Citadel:

  • Contact us: Visit one of our branch locations or video chat at to notify us of your family member’s death and inquire about what documents are needed prior to bringing into an office or mailing.
  • Mail or Bring Required Documents: After our initial contact, we will review the account type and balances to determine what documents may be required. Any identifying information you have (Date of Birth, Social Security Number, Account Number) will be helpful. In addition, please bring your family member’s original death certificate, which is required to begin the process of handling the decedent account(s). You can either mail this information to Citadel or bring it with you to a branch location. Please advise Citadel if the original death certificate needs to be returned.  

Please note: The account type(s) and their current balance(s) will determine if any additional documentation is needed.

When Citadel Contacts You about a Family Member’s Passing

Oftentimes, Citadel will receive notification of a Citadel customer’s death from the Social Security Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Treasury, or the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Once Citadel is notified a customer has passed, we will contact the person(s) who is (are) legally authorized to receive account information and perform transactions to close the account. Typically this is the joint account owner, if applicable, the executor named on the short certificate, or the appointed administrator named on the Letters of Administration.

Helpful Websites and Phone Numbers:

Below are list of questions to help navigate you through this difficult time.

Important Questions to Consider

What happens to a decedent’s debit or credit cards?

All debit and credit cards in the decedent’s name will be closed since they can no longer be used by that person.

• If you are a co-borrower of the credit card, you will need to reapply to have a Citadel credit card in your own name. If you are an authorized user, the credit card will be closed.
• If you would like to apply for a Citadel credit card in your own name, you can apply online, over the phone, or at any of our branch offices.

Online Banking and Bill Payer service will be removed for the deceased person.

What happens to the decedent’s checks?

• Checks payable to the decedent may be deposited up to ten days after date of death.
• If check is received after 10 days, the check will must be deposited to an estate account.
• Checks written by the decedent prior to death may clear the account up to ten days after date of death.
• Any checks received payable to the estate must be deposited to a separate Estate account.

What happens to an account when the only owner is deceased?

• If the balance on deposit in the account date of death is under $10,000.00, an original death certificate and copy of paid funeral bill is required to process the account .
• If the balance on deposit in the account  on date of death is over $10,000.00, an original death certificate and original short certificate or Letters of Administration is required. Either of these can be obtained through the decedent’s local county Register of Wills office. This is to let the financial institution know who can act on an account on behalf of the deceased person.
• To protect your loved one’s assets, the funds on deposit will be placed on hold to ensure that money is not leaving the account. We are not able to determine which debits can be paid, so please let the companies know you will return by other means.
• All loans will be reviewed and handled by our Collections Department. They can be contacted at (866) 739-0070. 
• All automatic debits will be canceled as all funds will be placed on hold until the account is closed or transferred to an estate account.

What happens with a joint account when the primary or joint owner is deceased?
  • ✔ All loans and additional documentation that may be required will be reviewed and handled by our Collections Department. They can be contacted at (866) 739-0070. Note: Co-borrowers may only receive loan information.
  • ✔ Checks can still be written on the account.
  • ✔ If the joint owner is not the legal spouse, the account must be closed to ensure accurate tax reporting. The joint owner can open a new account in their name.
  • ✔ Inheritance tax will be reported for Pennsylvania residents that are not the spouse and the account balance was over $300.00.
  • ✔ Billers of the deceased can be moved only to a spouse’s Bill Payer, upon request.
What happens with a decedent’s Certificates?

Certificates will be redeemed without penalty.

Automatic deposits from the United States Treasury may be subject to those funds being placed on hold and returned as required by the US Treasury. This includes Social Security Administration, Department of Defense, Department of Veteran’s Affairs, Railroad Pension, and Black Lung deposits. If the deposit is made after the date of death, we are required to return the funds to treasury.

What happens with a decedent’s IRA Account?

Citadel will start the paperwork for an IRA account and forward to our administrator, Ascensus, which handles all paperwork for the named beneficiaries of the IRA. If no beneficiaries are named, the funds will go to the decedent’s estate. Verification of beneficiary information may be requested. IRA accounts are processed separately.

What happens with Power of Attorney on a decedent’s account?

Power of Attorney no longer applies to the account once the owner has passed away.


How are Estate Accounts handled?

An Estate Account is a term used to describe an account opened in the name of an estate of a deceased individual. The account can be opened by the individual assigned as the representative of the estate.

When the representative(s) is ready to open the Estate Account, an original death certificate and the original Short Certificate or a Letter of Administration must be presented. The representative must provide an EIN number issued by the IRS. If the representative(s) does not have an EIN, they can obtain one through one of the following options: EIN online application
• By phone: (800) 829-4933
• By fax: (631) 687-3995 using form SS-4

Trust Accounts:

• An original death certificate will need to be provided by the trustee(s) of the trust.
• Checks can still be written on the account.
• A copy of the trust documents may be requested.

Business/Non Personal accounts:

• An original death certificate will need to be provided.
• Additional documentation may be required, depending on the type of account.

Still have questions? Contact Us.