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Merrill Life Services

Financial steps to take after losing a loved one

Contact us at 855.450.9015
Business Hours: Mon – Fri 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM Eastern Time

Documents to prepare before speaking with a Transition Specialist

What You Need:

  • Personal information: The deceased's full legal name, Social Security number, Date of Birth.
  • Death Certificate: Typically provided by the funeral home or by a local government agency that registers births, deaths and marriages.

Depending on Your Situation, We May Also Need:

  • Small Estate Affidavit: This may be used to disperse an account when formal probate isn't required. It is typically provided by a legal advisor.
  • Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration: These are issued by the court when formal probate is required.
  • Affidavit of Domicile (PDF): A legal document used to verify the home address of a person who has died.
  • Trustee Certification Form: A document used to certify that a trust was established.

Required documents by account type

Individual Account required documents Joint Accounts (JTWROS or TIC) required documents IRAs required documents Trusts required documents
  • Death Certificate & Affidavit of Domicile
  • Probate documents (if applicable)
  • Distribution documents
  • Letter of Authorization to swap SSN
  • Letter of Authorization to remove deceased account holder
  • Death Certificate
  • Trustee Certification form
  • Letter of Authorization to transfer or distribute (if applicable)
  • Probate documents (if applicable)
  • Tax waiver (if applicable)
  • Transfer on Death Letter of Authorization (if applicable)
  • Trustee Certification form (if applicable Trust as beneficiary)
  • Corporate resolution (if applicable charity/organization as beneficiary)
  • New account documents (if applicable)
Please note additional documents may be required depending on the specific circumstances

Next steps

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Notify us that your loved one has passed by calling 855-450-9015 or visiting your local Bank of America Branch.
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Submit the initial required documents.
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After reviewing the documents, an experienced Life Services Transition Specialist will contact you to discuss any additional required documents or further actions.
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Once all initial documents are approved, we'll connect you with a Life Services Financial Solutions Advisor to discuss the details of the funds you're inheriting and explain how that fits into your current financial situation.
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Based on the conversation with your Financial Solutions Advisor, we walk you through opening your new accounts.
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Once new accounts are established, we will assist in completing the proper authorization for the transfer of assets.
In certain situations, you may also need to contact a legal or tax advisor for assistance.
Call the Merrill Life Services Team at 855-450-9015 (Monday – Friday 8 a.m – 8 p.m. ET).
If you have additional questions, consult our FAQs for more information

Get in touch with a Transition Specialist

Or contact our Merrill Life Services Team at 855-450-9015.
Transition Consultants are available 8am - 8pm ET, Monday - Friday

Frequently Asked Questions

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Investing in securities involves risks, and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities.

Asset allocation, diversification, and rebalancing do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.
Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

This material is not intended as a recommendation, offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or investment strategy. Merrill offers a broad range of brokerage, investment advisory (including financial planning) and other services. Additional information is available in our Client Relationship Summary (PDF).

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as "MLPF&S" or "Merrill") makes available certain investment products sponsored, managed, distributed or provided by companies that are affiliates of Bank of America Corporation ("BofA Corp."). MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, Member Securities Investor Protection (SIPC) popup and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation ("BofA Corp").
Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc. (MLLA) is a licensed insurance agency and wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp.

Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A. and affiliated banks, Members FDIC and wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.

Investment products offered through MLPF&S and insurance and annuity products offered through MLLA:
Are Not FDIC Insured Are Not Bank Guaranteed May Lose Value
Are Not Deposits Are Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency Are Not a Condition to Any Banking Service or Activity

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