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Deceased Member Road Map

Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be a difficult and stressful time for you and your family. This resource provides information that may be helpful in handling your loved one’s estate.
This guide provides a general overview and is not meant to address all aspects of the account settlement process and it is not intended as legal or tax advice. We recommend consulting with a legal or tax professional to confirm requirements specifically applicable to your loved one’s estate and other assets.

Account Ownership

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I notify SUNY Fredonia of a Member’s passing?

  1. You can visit the office,
  2. Contact the Credit Union at (716) 673-3585 or
  3. You can mail the documents to:
    SUNY Fredonia Federal Credit Union
    G-139 Williams Center
    280 Central Avenue
    Fredonia, NY 14063

What will SUNY FREDONIA FCU need to close the account(s)?

  1. Certified copy of the Death Certificate – the death certificated gives us the information needed to verify the identity and legal residence of our member. We will make a copy and return the original.
  2. Personal Representative Paperwork or Letters of Testamentary- if there is no joint owner or beneficiary on the shares. These documents are issued by the court and name a representative who will manage the assets and liabilities of the estate. For Small Probate: a properly executed Small Estate affidavit or court order, in accordance with state laws. We will make a copy and return the original. **Below is our contact and information on how to obtain the small estate affidavit **
  3. Photo ID

Who can SUNY Fredonia FCU provide information on the deceased member’s account?

  1. A joint owner of the account
  2. The beneficiary of the account
  3. The executor/executrix of the estate
  4. The voluntary administrator
    Note: Please be advised the Credit Union cannot accept a will. We can accept Letters of Testamentary of a Certificate of Voluntary Administration.

I am the Power-of-Attorney for the member, can I continue to use the account?

Unfortunately, no. You cannot act on someone’s behalf after they are deceased.

Does the Credit Union offer Estate Accounts?

Yes, the Credit Union offers Estate Accounts.

In some situations, it is beneficial to open an estate account as a way to administer a person’s financial assets after they have passed away. We can open a savings account and a checking account as the estate account and this account can be used by authorized individuals to make deposits and or withdrawals from the account (to pay for funeral expenses or other outstanding bills the deceased may have, for example.)

To be eligible to establish an estate account, the deceased member must have been a Credit Union member in good standing at the time of death. In the event that the individual was not a member of SUNY Fredonia Federal Credit Union at the time of death, we will permit the executor/administrator to open an Estate Account, if he or she qualifies for membership.

Please contact the office for more information about membership eligibility.
To establish an estate account, the Executor/Executrix/Administrator will need to first apply for the IRS taxpayer ID number (EIN) in the estate’s name. Applying for an EIN is a free service offered by the IRS. You can complete Form SS-4 and submit the application online at www.IRS.gov , by fax at (855) 641-6935, by mail to Internal Revenue Service Attn: EIN Operation Cincinnati, OH 45999 or by telephone for International Applicants at 267-947-1099 (not a toll-free number).

How Will Outstanding Loans be Handled?

  1. • If the member has Credit Life Insurance on his/her loan with SUNY Fredonia FCU, the credit union will file a Credit Life Claim with TruStage.
  2. • If there is no joint owner on the share accounts, the available funds in the share are immediately transferred to the balance of any open loan.
  3. • The estate must directly pay off remaining loan balances or provide the Credit Union with the necessary documentation to properly file a creditor’s claim against the estate.

I have a check payable to the member, can I deposit it into the account?

Checks made payable to the member cannot be deposited into the account after the member’s death. Checks payable to the member will need to be re-issued in the name of the Estate and must be deposited into an Estate Account. For specific guidance, contact us at (716) 673-3585.

How do I find out if the member had automatic payments deducted from a checking account? How do I stop or change those payments?

As the executor or administrator of the estate, you may obtain copies of statements to review past account activity. If automatic payments are deducted from the member’s account(s), the Credit Union can assist you with transferring or canceling the payments.

The deceased member’s account has a direct deposit set up. What will happen to the funds?

Government deposits: The Credit Union is required to return funds deposited by government agencies after the date of death; i.e., Social Security, Veteran’s Administration benefits, Retirements and Pensions.

Other direct deposits: Any agency or entity that is depositing funds into the account should be notified as soon as possible. Any and all employers who are paying out retirement or pension benefits should be notified as well.

Will the VISA Check Card be deactivated upon death notification?

Any VISA Check Card a deceased member may have had will be deactivated immediately upon notification of the cardholder’s death. Again, this protects your loved one’s accounts from unauthorized purchases made with the card. If you are a joint owner on the deceased member’s account and have a Visa Check Card, contact the Credit Union to order you a new VISA Check Card.

Will online banking be deactivated upon death notification?

Once we receive notification of death, access to Online and Mobile Banking will no longer be available using the deceased member’s login credentials. All Joint Owners will have access to login using their unique credentials. (Note: Joint Owners do not have access to e-statements or e-tax forms.)

What happens to Individual Retirement Accounts?

Upon receipt of the death certificate for the deceased owner of an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), the Credit Union will begin the IRA death claim process. The beneficiary will be contacted by Ascensus, our retirement services provider. The beneficiary will have to fill out a form and mail it back. Once Ascensus receives this form, they will instruct the Credit Union on how to disburse the funds.

Our Chautauqua County Surrogate Court can help with this Small Estate Affidavit:

OUR CONTACT IS RACHEL KINAL rkinal@nycourts.gov

Phone Number: 716-753-4339

Forms can be found at nycourts.gov, under the courts, click forms, surrogate courts

SUNY Fredonia Federal Credit Union 2024