Your loved one may have money in a financial institution, such as a bank or credit union. You should contact us before spending any of this money. Banks and medical facilities are asked to send the decedent's remaining funds to the State, except when their spouse is still alive.
Do I need to close any bank accounts? Do I need proof an account is closed?
No, you don't need to close the deceased person's bank accounts.
If you do close an account, keep all the account statements from the date of death until the date the account is closed. The State requires proof of how much money was in the account at the date of death and how any money was spent after the date of death. You may be personally responsible for any misused funds.
Can I pay a claim from my own funds using a check or credit card?
Yes. But you are not required to pay using your own money unless the funds in your account belonged to your loved one.
The bank won't let me have my loved one's funds because I'm not an account owner. What should I do?
If the account is solely owned by the decedent, we may be able to request the funds directly from the bank as a creditor of the estate.
If the bank will not release funds to us, you may have to get an affidavit to have the funds released to you. The bank may require you to file a document with the courts called either a “Small Estate Affidavit" or a “Petition to Appoint a Personal Representative." These are known as “probate" proceedings.
The type of paperwork you need to file will depend on how much money is in the bank account and the value of any other property or assets. By law, you have to notify the Estate Administration Unit (EAU) when this paperwork is filed with the court.
You may face personal liability to creditors if you mishandle your loved one's funds. Since this is a complicated area of the law, consider talking to a lawyer before filing anything with the court.
EAU will file its claim, if it has one, with the personal representative and the court. Any assets in the estate must be used to pay claims submitted by creditors of the deceased.
If you don't file a probate proceeding, then the bank may send the funds directly to us if we file an affidavit. For more information see
Oregon Revised Statutes 708A.430 and
My loved one had multiple accounts. Can I send just one payment, or do I need to send a separate payment for each account?
You can send one payment or separate payments. Please include copies of bank statements for each account from the date of death to the time of payment or when the account was closed.
The money from a bank account has already been sent to the heirs and nothing is left. What do I do?
The heirs will have to return enough funds to pay the claims of the deceased's creditors.
What happens if I send you all the money in my loved one's account and then I get a bill from a creditor?
If there are no other assets, the estate is “insolvent." If a court proceeding has been filed, the creditor has an option to file a claim through the court proceeding. However, if you didn't mishandle the funds, you generally are not responsible for bills or debts if the estate can't pay the creditor. For more information, see
Oregon Revised Statute 115.125.
What happens if I sent you all the money in my loved one's bank account and then Social Security or a pension company asks for money back?
If Social Security asks for reimbursement, contact us.
A reclamation by a pension fund has lower priority than a claim by ODHS or OHA, so it is unlikely we will reimburse the pension fund. We will confirm that we claimed the funds and that our claim has priority.