What is to be done with bank accounts after a death varies regionally. In some regions, bank accounts are automatically frozen after a death. Some banks do not freeze the account if it is a joint account. To avoid any complications, the bank should be notified immediately, and you should find out the procedures for releasing these funds, and how to set up a new account for funds received after the death. Ask for the estates person at the lending institution as they usually have a few people assigned to perform this task for the customers. It’s recommended that a joint account stay open for at least six months to allow you to deposit any cheques that are made out to the deceased. To take a name off a joint bank account, banks require a Certified Copy of a Death Certificate. If the deceased had a safety deposit box in a bank, the contents can be sealed after death and a Certified Copy of a Death Certificate will be required to gain access to the contents.