How to quickly unblock bank accounts after a passing?
Depending on the situation, unblocking the accounts may be a long and complex task. However, following a strict procedure may speed up the process.
For banks, it is essential to know who the heirs are. Therefore, to have the assets unblocked, either a certificate or an act of heredity must be provided. The first one is free but can only be obtained if your situation is considered “simple”: no will, no marriage agreement, no specific provisions nor any incapacitated heir (a minor, for example). Otherwise, you will need to provide an act of heredity, which is a notarial act that has to be paid for (approximately €400).
As soon as the bank obtains those documents, it will be able to check them (which generally takes a few weeks) and then unfreeze the accounts. Banks will also contact the heirs to ask for instructions regarding the liquidation of the assets.
Tax liabilities, be they incurred by the deceased or one of the heirs, automatically prevent the unblocking of the accounts. Hence the necessity to pay them off beforehand, either by paying them off directly to the tax administration or by asking the bank to cover them using the assets from the inheritance.
What if I need to make payments?
Even if all the accounts are blocked, the surviving partner (who may be the deceased’s spouse or legal partner) may dispose of half of the sums available on all bank accounts, with a ceiling set at a maximum of €5,000. This sum is meant to deal with urgent expenses such as funeral costs. Be careful not to exceed this ceiling as it could lead to penalties.
To avoid your assets being blocked for too long, you can ask the Morning Blue experts for help. They will assist you, free of charge, through the various steps and will, among other things, undergo the whole procedure with the administration to obtain a certificate of heredity for you so that you can provide it to the banks.