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GUIDE TO ACCOUNT SETTLEMENT

We know how difficult the loss of a loved one can be for you and your family.  We want to provide you with some information to assist you through the difficult and challenging task of settling your loved one’s financial affairs.  Please contact us for help with this process:

  • By phone:           800-887-0220
  • By mail:              TruStar Federal Credit Union    601 Fourth Street    International Falls, MN  56649
  • Chat Online:       TruChat
  • In Person:           Visit your local branch

SAVINGS AND CHECKING ACCOUNTS

How long will the affected TruStar account remain open?   

We recommend that you settle your loved one’s accounts as soon as possible.  TruStar will continue to report dividend and interest to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under the deceased’s Social Security Number (SSN) until the account is closed or retitled to the surviving joint owner, provided they are eligible for membership.  By taking action quickly to settle the account you can avoid IRS complications that may result from continued reporting under the deceased’s SSN.  We are not able to predict how long it may take for an account to be wrapped up without fully understanding the scope of an individual’s situation.

Do I need a certified copy of a death certificate for TruStar?

You must present us with a certified copy of the death certificate, but we will be happy to just make a copy of it for our records.

What will happen to Direct Deposits coming to TruStar?

If a direct deposit is received from a federal agency such as, Social Security, on or after the member’s date of death, we are required to return the funds.  If you feel you are entitled to any funds that have been returned, please contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) office at 800-772-1213 and have the member’s SSN available.

For all other direct deposits you will need to contact the agencies or companies depositing the funds to determine what is required.  Funds may need to be returned to the paying party. 

How do I claim survivor benefits with the Social Security Administration (SSA)?

In most cases the funeral home takes care of reporting a death to the SSA; however, you should contact the Social Security Administration office as soon as possible regarding survivor’s benefits because the claim can take up to 90 day to process.  You can reach the Social Security Administration office at 800-772-1213.  Be prepared to provide the following:

  • Proof of death, such as a certified copy of the death certificate
  • The SSN of the deceased
  • The name of the deceased’s employer
  • The deceased’s most recent W-2 forms or self-employment tax return showing earning in the year of his or her death
  • A certified or original copy of the birth certificates of the spouse and minor children
  • Divorce papers if the divorced spouse is applying for benefits

What will happen to automatic payments that are being deducted from the TruStar account?

If you are a living joint owner of the account, personal representative or administrator of the estate, you may obtain copies of statements to review past account activity.  If automatic payments are deducted from the account, TruStar will be happy to assist you with transferring or cancelling the payments.

If I am a joint owner on the affected account can I still write checks and use my ATM or Debit card(s) to access the account?

Yes, as long as the account is classified as “Joint – With Rights of Survivorship”, the account remains open, and there are funds available in the account.  You will have the option of using your checks and your card(s) until the account is closed or retitled.  We automatically cancel the deceased’s cards when we are made aware of the death.

If I am the designated personal representative or administrator of the estate but not a joint owner of the deceased’s account, will I be able to access information on the account?

Yes, but you must provide a death certificate and court documents showing your appointment to personal representative or administrator of the estate.  After you provide these documents you will be entitled to all account information.

CONSUMER LOANS

TruStar will determine if the deceased had a voluntary payment protection plan on their TruStar loan and, if qualified, and upon receipt, we will apply the applicable proceeds towards their loan balance.  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.

FIRST MORTGAGE LOANS AND HOME EQUITY LINES OF CREDIT

If I am the co-borrower on a Mortgage, what happens now?

Please contact TruStar’s Mortgage department as soon as possible at 800-887-0220.

What happens if there is not a co-borrower on the Mortgage loan?

Please contact TruStar’s Mortgage department as soon as possible at 800-887-0220.

How will Home Equity Lines of Credit be handled?

If the deceased is the only borrower, the line of credit access will be closed, allowing no further disbursements.  If there is a co-borrower on the line of credit, it will not be closed, and the co-borrower can continue to use it and be responsible for repayment.

WHAT IS PROBATE?

Probate is the process by which the court oversees the administration of the deceased’s estate. It is designed to protect the family and ensure that the persons who are entitled to receive the assets do receive them. It also provides a process to ensure that all debts and taxes are paid. It is best to consult an attorney to determine whether probate is necessary, and if so, what property is or is not subject to probate. If the deceased had a Will, the court will use the Will to determine who is to be appointed executor or personal representative of the estate. If there is no Will, the court will appoint a personal representative, usually a spouse or relative. If probate is needed, it is best to start the probate process as soon as you are able. This may be a trying time for you, but it is best to settle these matters as quickly and accurately as possible. The size and complexity of the deceased’s estate, plus state probate laws, will determine how long the process will take. If the estate is large or complex, the probate process can take months or years to complete. On the other hand, the probate process may move quickly, or it may not be required depending on the size and particular assets of the deceased’s estate.   

The documents required for probate and what they must contain can vary from one probate court to another. In addition to the deceased’s full name and date of birth, most probate courts require, at a minimum, the following documents:

  • Certified copy of the death certificate (this can often be filed later)
  • Will (if there is one)
  • Names and addresses of all heirs, next of kin and beneficiaries

ESTABLISHING AN ESTATE ACCOUNT

Once a personal representative or an administrator of the estate has been named, TruStar provides an efficient solution for holding estate assets in a separate account to keep them separate from the personal representative or administrator’s own personal accounts.  Most often the deceased’s assets are deposited into a savings and transferred as needed to checking for the payment of taxes, debts, and other obligations during the estate settlement process.

 

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