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Bereavement

SFCU extends our deepest sympathy for the loss of your loved one. We’re here to help you in every way possible.

What to do when a loved one passes

To begin the process:

  • Contact us at 877.642.7328 or Email Us. An employee will work with you review initial steps and to begin the process.

Depending on account ownership, we may need an original or certified copy of the death certificate and certificate of appointment.  

Helpful Information

If your loved one was receiving government payments by direct deposit from a federal paying agency (such as Social Security, Department of Veterans Affairs), you must notify them of the death as soon as possible.

SFCU is required to return any government payments made after the date of death in the decedent’s Social Security number. This can be a complicated and challenging process. Helpful numbers are below to assist in this process.

Agencies you may need to contact

Social Security Administration
800.772.1213

Department of Veterans Affairs
800.827.1000

How to prepare your estate planning

It can be challenging to know where to begin when you're handling a loved one's financial affairs. Dealing with finances can feel overwhelming. We are here to make the process of transitioning accounts as simple as possible.
Every situation is unique, so you may also wish to reach out to a lawyer, tax professional, or trusted advisor for assistance.

  • Members should review and keep updated joint owners and/or beneficiaries listed on each of their accounts at the credit union. If your joint owner or beneficiaries are not already members of SFCU, encourage them, to open an account so funds can be transferred upon death.

    • Please note: Joint owner(s) and beneficiaries are account associated, not member associated. Therefore, joint owner(s) and/or beneficiaries need to be added to each account individually. 

    Contact us to add a joint owner and/or beneficiary. We can make account updates electronically or you may visit your local branch.

Disbursement of funds

SFCU's goal is to protect the privacy and wishes of our Members according to the signed Account Agreement. So we may require specific documents, court documents or involve processing from other official agencies.

  • Typically, a hospital or funeral home will notify the Social Security Administration (see link for more info.)

    • Any government benefits for the deceased, such as Social Security, will stop and/or be returned.
    • If an account is individually owned, SFCU is required to freeze the funds in the account upon receiving notice of the owner’s death.  Any checks that have not yet cleared and all automatic withdrawals will be rejected 10 days after the death of the account owner.

    Prior to disbursing funds, SFCU needs:

    • Death Certificate
    • Valid photo Identification for each beneficiary
    • Instructions from the beneficiary for the distribution of funds. (An internal transfer to another account within SFCU or an official check are available).
  • Typically, a hospital or funeral home will notify the Social Security Administration (see link for more info.)

    • Any government benefits for the deceased, such as Social Security, will stop and/or be returned.
    • If an account is individually owned, SFCU is required to freeze the funds in the account upon receiving notice of the owner’s death.  Any checks that have not yet cleared and all automatic withdrawals will be rejected 10 days after the death of the account owner.
    • The probate or surrogate court will issue a document appointing an “executor” or “administrator” (the terms vary by jurisdiction).

    Prior to disbursing funds, SFCU needs:

    • Death Certificate
    • Certificate of Appointment (may also be called, Certificate of Executor or Certificate of Administrator)
    • Valid photo identification for the Executor/Administrator
  • Typically, a hospital or funeral home will notify the Social Security Administration (see link for more info.)

    Any government benefits for the deceased, such as Social Security, will stop and/or be returned.

    Account Ownership:

    • If the primary owner of the account passes away, the joint owner would need to transfer the funds to an account they are the primary owner of or open a new account, if applicable. 
    • If the decedent is not the primary member, they will need to be removed from joint ownership.

    It is recommended that a new joint owner is added to the account and existing beneficiaries are reviewed.

    Please note: Beneficiaries (Payable On Death) do not supersede the right of survivorship granted to Joint Owner(s).

Effective 4/13/24 โ€“ Market St. branch will be temporarily closed on Saturdays due to construction (ATM still available). Our Oneida St branch will be open on Saturdays from 9am โ€“ 12pm.