What is to be done with bank accounts after a death varies regionally. In some regions, bank accounts are automatically frozen after a death. To avoid any complications, the bank should be notified immediately. Ask the bank for their procedures to release funds, and how to set up a new account for funds received after the death. It’s recommended that a joint account stay open for at least six months to allow you to deposit any checks that are made out to the deceased. A certified copy of a death certificate is needed to remove a name from a joint bank account. If the deceased had a safety deposit box in a bank, the contents may be sealed after death and a certified copy of a death certificate will be required to gain access to the contents.