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What happens to American Express Savings accounts after an Account holder’s death?

The Bank requires certain documents depending on your specific circumstances. We may request additional documents. Please keep in mind that every situation is different, and some requirements vary by state. We recommend you consult with a financial or legal advisor for more information/assistance.

Individual Account with designated POD beneficiary(ies)

Individual Account with no designated POD beneficiaries

  • A death certificate (copy only, as originals are not able to be returned)
  • Letter of Instruction 
  • A document that appoints someone to manage the deceased’s estate or personal property, such as 1) Executorship or estate administration documentation (a court-issued document that appoints someone to manage the deceased’s estate, such as Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration). Please note that we are unable to accept Wills or Trust documents. OR 2) A notarized state-specific (from the deceased’s state of residence) Small Estate Affidavit (a document that appoints someone to manage the deceased’s personal property, including bank accounts, when the deceased’s assets are less than a certain amount).

Joint Account with surviving Account owner

The account automatically transitions to an Account with the surviving Account owner as the sole Account owner. To remove a deceased Account owner from the Account, please submit the following:

Joint Account without surviving Account owner, with designated POD beneficiary(ies)

If all joint Account owners are deceased with designated POD beneficiaries:

Joint Account without surviving Account owner, with no designated POD beneficiaries

If all joint Account owners are deceased with no designated POD beneficiaries:

  • A death certificate (copy only, as originals are not able to be returned)
  • Letter of Instruction 
  • A document that appoints someone to manage the deceased’s estate or personal property, such as 1) Executorship or estate administration documentation (a court-issued document that appoints someone to manage the deceased’s estate, such as Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration). Please note that we are unable to accept Wills or Trust documents. OR 2) A notarized state-specific (from the deceased’s state of residence) Small Estate Affidavit (a document that appoints someone to manage the deceased’s personal property, including bank accounts, when the deceased’s assets are less than a certain amount).

Individual Account re-titled as a revocable living Trust Account

(Please note that the funds will be disbursed to the trust c/o a successor trustee under a valid certificate/declaration of trust.)

  • Death certificate (copy only, as originals are not able to be returned)
  • Letter of Instruction 
  • A notarized state-specific Certificate/Declaration of Trust (a document that confirms that the trustee has the authority to act on behalf of the Trust), identifying the current trustee of the trust by name and address.

Joint Account re-titled as a revocable living Trust Account

Surviving Account owner:

  • Death certificate (copy only, as originals are not able to be returned)      
  • Letter of Instruction      
  • New Account Form (applicable only if the decedent is the primary owner)
  • A notarized state-specific Certificate/Declaration of Trust (a document that confirms that the trustee has the authority to act on behalf of the Trust), identifying the current trustee of the trust by name and address. 

Both joint Account owners are deceased:

(Please note that the funds will be disbursed to the trust or successor trustee under a valid certificate of trust)

  • Death certificates (copy only, as originals are not able to be returned)
  • Letter of Instruction 
  • A notarized state-specific
  • Certificate/Declaration of Trust (a document that confirms that the trustee has the authority to act on behalf of the Trust), identifying the current trustee
    of the trust by name and address.

Please mail or fax your documents to:

  • Fax: 1-800-542-0779
  • Mail:

    American Express National Bank

    PO Box 30384

    Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0384

Can I submit the will?

No, we do not accept a will (or copy of a will) as a document that properly authorizes someone to manage the deceased’s estate or personal property. Acceptable types of documentation for different scenarios are described here.

 

 


 

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Accounts offered by American

Express National Bank. Member FDIC. Each depositor is insured to at least $250,000.

Learn More from FDIC.gov

*The Annual Percentage Yield (APY) as advertised is accurate as of . Interest rate and APY are subject to change at any time without notice before and after a High Yield Savings Account is opened.

 

For a CD account, rates are subject to change at any time without notice before the account is opened. Your rate will be fixed on the business day‡ we receive your completed application, provided we receive your deposit within 30 days after your application is approved. After a CD is opened, additional deposits to the account are not permitted. Early CD withdrawals may be subject to significant penalties which could cause you to lose some of your principal. Please see the Deposit Account Agreement for additional terms and conditions and Truth-in-Savings disclosures.

 

**The national rate referenced is from the FDIC's published Monthly Rate Cap Information for Savings deposit products. Visit the FDIC website for details.

 

†You are generally permitted to make up to nine (9) withdrawals or transfers out of your High Yield Savings Account during a monthly statement cycle. However, please note that there are strict rules for withdrawing money from an IRA plan (including an IRA High Yield Savings Account) before retirement age without incurring a penalty. Read More in FAQs.

 

‡For purposes of transferring funds, business days are Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Transfers can be initiated 24/7 via the website or phone, but any transfers initiated after 7:00 PM Eastern Time or on non-business days will begin to be processed on the next business day.

 

♢Calculations are estimates of expected interest earned. Actual results may vary, based on various factors such as leap years, timing of deposits, rounding, and variation in interest rates. The first recurring deposit is assumed to begin in the second period after any initial deposit.

 

§IRA Contributions are subject to aggregate annual limits across all IRA plans held at American Express or other institutions. IRA distributions may be taxed and subject to penalties based on IRS guidelines. Required minimum distribution, if applicable, is only relevant to this IRA plan and does not take into consideration other IRA plans held at American Express or other institutions. Please see IRS.gov for more information. We recommend you consult with a financial or tax advisor when making contributions to and distributions from an IRA plan account.