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FAQ: Accounts for Deceased Individuals

Losing a loved one is an extremely difficult time. All of us at Merck Employees FCU would like to reduce the burden of dealing with the deceased’s finances and to continue to provide you with the best possible member service.

Below we have outlined a few common questions and answers that will help you navigate through this difficult time.

The credit union can only discuss a decedent’s account with the legal representative of the deceased member or the surviving joint owner(s) of the decedent’s account. Accordingly, you must contact the Surrogate’s office in the county in which the decedent resided at the time of his/her death and be appointed the legal representative of the decedent and bring a Surrogate’s Certificate to the credit union otherwise the credit union cannot provide you with any information concerning the account.

If you were a joint owner, you must provide the credit union with a copy of the decedent’s death certificate.

Please provide contact information to the credit union. An email is best however if you do not have an email, you can contact the credit union at the following address:

Merck Employees Federal Credit Union 126 E. Lincoln Avenue Rahway, NJ 07065

Where Should I Begin?

The first step is to notify the credit union as soon as possible after the death of a loved one. The credit union will need the following information:

  • Name of deceased

  • Date of death

  • Certified copy of the death certificate

  • Name(s) of individual(s) who will be settling the account and copy(ies) of their driver’s license(s) or state-issued photo ID(s)

  • A completed L8 form if deceased member was a resident of NJ at the time of their passing and you qualify to use the L8 form. If you do not qualify to use an L8 form, you will require a tax waiver. To determine whether an L8 or tax waiver is needed it is important to understand beneficiary class designations, which can be found here.

  • If deceased member was not a resident of New Jersey at the time of their passing, we will need a completed Affidavit of Domicile.

  • * If the decedent resided in the State of New Jersey at the time of his/her death, you must submit an L8 form as required by the New Jersey Division of Taxation. If you need assistance, please contact the state at 609-292-5033.

  • ** If the decedent did not reside in New Jersey, you must submit an Affidavit of Domicile. Copies of these forms will be provided to you by the credit union.

Steps to take regarding accounts:

  • Cancel direct deposits: such as payroll deposit and social security payments.

  • Cancel pre-authorized drafts.

  • Re-direct pre-authorized drafts and direct deposits to new accounts.

  • Update beneficiary information, under survivor’s account, if necessary.

  • Review account history for recurring electronic withdrawals, action may need to be taken to stop future drafts. Contact the respective companies, if necessary.

  • Update official documents, as needed.

Can I submit a Will?

Unfortunately, the credit union can’t determine the validity of a Will. A Will must be probated by the Surrogate’s Court and an estate representative appointed by the surrogate. Where there are no beneficiaries on the deposit account, we can only take instructions about a deceased person’s account from the court appointed legal representative.

What if there is no Will?

You must still go to the surrogate’s office in the county in which the decedent resided at the time of his/her death. The surrogate will explain the procedure by which one of the next of kin can be appointed the legal representative of the decedent’s estate and the surrogate will issue a certificate to that individual appointing them the legal representative of the decedent’s estate. That person then can bring the certificate to the credit union and the credit union will follow the instructions of that legal representative.

Social Security Benefits

Older members may be receiving social security benefits at the time of their death. Frequently, social security benefits are electronically deposited into their accounts. You must stop these payments since they must be returned to social security after the death of the recipient.

Safe Deposit Boxes

The credit union does not have safe deposit boxes.

Trust Accounts (currently MEFCU does not offer Trust Accounts)

If the decedent was a trustee of a trust account at the credit union, you must look at the trust agreement to determine if there is a contingent trustee. If so, the trust account remains in effect and will be controlled by the contingent trustee.

Power of Attorney

If the account of the decedent was subject to a power of attorney in which another person was the agent controlling the account, the power of attorney terminates upon the death of the principal and is no longer in effect.

How do I settle outstanding loan balances with the credit union?

We will help you start the process and advise you as to the outstanding loan balances. Under federal law, the credit union has a lien against all deposit balances that the decedent has at the credit union for amounts owed by the decedent to the credit union.

Disclaimer

We hope the information contained above will help you complete the administration of the decedent’s estate however this information is simply provided as a courtesy and should not be considered legal advice by the credit union. You are urged to obtain your own legal guidance from an attorney or other advisor and the credit union accepts no responsibility whatsoever in reference to the information set forth in this document.

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All Rights Reserved.

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