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Is withdrawing money after death punishable?

When a loved one passes away, there is much to be arranged. From funeral to various administrative matters. With funeral insurance, you prevent the next of kin from having to pay for the costs. For example, your next of kin do not have to advance the funeral. After all, your next of kin cannot access your savings because bank and savings accounts of the deceased are blocked. On this page, we explain what happens to bank balances when a loved one dies. You may not think about it, but it is important to know what you can and cannot do with the bank account. Did you know that simply withdrawing money after death is punishable by law?

Banking: what needs to be arranged after death

After the death of a loved one, many administrative matters need to be taken care of. Similarly, a number of banking matters must be arranged after death. Be careful not to simply withdraw money from the bank account without first arranging this with the bank. This is because you will be punishable if you withdraw money after the death of a loved one.

To conduct banking business, you will need the following documents:

  • Copy of your own proof of identity
  • A statement from the Central Register of Wills (CTR). You can request this free of charge from the bank or through the notary public
  • An indemnification form, which states that you "indemnify" the bank from claims by any other heirs
  • The death certificate
  • A certificate of inheritance stating who the heirs are*

*You do not need this if:

  • there is no will and
  • There is a surviving partner (spouse or registered partner) and
  • the balance in the bank account does not exceed €100,000

How does it work with an and/or account?

If the bank account is in the name of one person, then in most cases the account will be blocked immediately after death. All (automatic) banking will then be stopped immediately. However, there may be exceptions to this rule. There are some banks that do not immediately stop performing direct debits.

With a joint account, such as an and/or account, you do have access to the account as a joint account holder after the death of the other person. It may happen that the heirs object to this. The bank can then block the account. The heirs must first give permission to use the account. Periodic payments and direct debits usually continue.

If the joint account holder dies, most banks allow the remaining account holder to transfer the account to his or her name.

And/or consider your children

If you open a joint account with one of your children, it does not always mean that this child can continue to handle banking matters after your death. The bank may decide to block the account. They may do this if the balance exceeds a certain amount. The bank can also take this action if other children object to their sibling being able to withdraw money from the estate.

Death insurance

In addition to banking matters, other agencies such as insurance companies often need to be notified. Check what insurance policies your loved one had and update them as necessary. Are there insurances that run through Alpina? We can update these details for you. For example:

Checklist; what needs to be arranged in the event of a death?

Besides administrative matters, there are many other things that need to be arranged in the event of a death. Read more about what needs to be arranged in the event of a death here.


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