Best Banks for Estate Accounts | Minimum Account Amount, Fees, + More

If a loved has passed away, with or without any will, you will need an estate account to liquidate the money for distribution. Although most banks now offer such services, our hunt for best banks for estate accounts continues and it has brought us to some of the best choices in the market!

What Will We Talk About Here?
  • Estate accounts are necessary when dealing with larger estates of a decedent otherwise you can stick to using checking account.
  • Some of the best banks for estate accounts include Wells Fargo, PNC, US Bank, and more.
  • You can initiate the process of opening an account simply through a phone call.

…and Much More!

Best Banks For Estate Accounts – Your Top Options!

When it comes to choosing the right bank specifically for this purpose, you will need to consider minimum account amount, administration fee, etc. How the fees are calculated have been discussed in more detail below so keep reading!

When dealing with only a small estate, it is more beneficial to stick to using a checking account only. It has lesser fees and there are not many complications involved. Moreover, you can open a checking account with bad credit or without any credit check and use it for other purposes like online shopping.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is an outstanding banking service that is one of the top choices for opening estate accounts. The fees applied here are based on the value of the decedent’s gross estate on the death date.

  • The minimum account amount here is $1 million.
  • 2.5% administration fees are charged for the first $5 million of the estate.
  • For the next $5 million, Wells Fargo will charge you 2% one-time administration fee.
  • 1% administration fee is charges when the account amount exceeds $10 million.
  • It is one of the most reliable services in the market.

Bank of America

Bank of America will charge you account opening fees as per fair market value of all the assets that are included in the decedent’s estate at the date of death. The best part is that the minimum amount for the account is kept negotiable.

  • The minimum account amount is between $500,000 to $600,000 but negotiable.
  • $20,000 is the minimum fee charges on any account.
  • The bank charges 3% fee on the first $2 million.
  • The next $3 million will incur 2.5% charges.
  • 2% administration fee is charged on the surplus trust balance.


Another of the top choices when it comes to opening an estate account is PNC. The fees are variable and majorly depend on the date of death of the deceased person as well as the value of the assets that would be included for federal estate tax purposes.

  • The minimum account amount is $1 million.
  • The administration fee on the first $1 million is 3% of the amount and on the next $1 million is $2.5%.
  • 2% administration fee is charges on all amount over $2 million.
  • The fees for accounts with amount larger than $20 million have not been specified and are discussed at the time of account opening.
  • If PNC is given sole or shared investment management discretion, then the bank’s Wealth Management department offers 15% discount.

J.P. Morgan

This bank has not set any minimum account amount but the records show that most clients have more than $7 million in assets. The fees are calculated depending on the sum of gross value of the decedent’s assets with or without the will. It also adds 75% of the gross value of assets that are present in trust and assets that will pass by law.

  • The bank charges 2.75% administration fee for under $5 million assets and 2.5% fee for $5 to $10 million assets.
  • The administration fee is set at 2.25% for assets between $10 million to $20 million.
  • Fee is reduced to 1.9% for assets between $20 million to $30 million.
  • It charges 1.6% for $30 million to $50 million assets.
  • Lastly, the bank charges 1.5% for amount over $50 million with no maximum fee limit.

U.S. Bank

The last name on the list is that of US bank. It charges flat $40 annual fee which is different from the ongoing rates in the market. Moreover, there are no more charges if you do not make trades from the account which, ofcourse, come with additional fees.

  • The minimum account amount is set ay $250,000.
  • There is $75 fee for transferring account from one institute to another.
  • The bank also charges $4.95 per trade for self-directed trades from the account.
  • Requesting the bank to make trades for you will incur $29.95 per trade fee.
  • It charges $40 annual fee.
Attention! The fees, loading limit, and additional features of the gift cards are distinctive from each other depending on the sellers and retailers they are from. 

Requirements For Opening Account in The Best Banks For Estate Accounts

You will need to provide certain documentation for initiating opening of an estate account. Although the list is not long, these items are a must at the time of application.

  • Death certification of the decedent.
  • Person’s full name.
  • Person’s social security number.
  • In case there is no will, you will also need to present required documents as the estate goes to probate.
  • Prove of the assets such as the verification of market value, etc.

You might be interested in reading: Banks That Accept ITIN.

Open Estate Account With The Best Bank – Step By Step Guide

The process of opening an estate account is quite simple for almost all banks. You can even begin the procedure online although, for your own satisfaction, it is better to visit the branch physically and discuss all concerns.

  1. Get in contact with the Estate unit physically or through phone.
  2. Provide the required documents and items such as decedent’s personal details, account numbers, EIN, and certified copy of death certificate.
  3. Obtain and save the case number with you that the bank provides.

The Bottom Line

It is extremely important for the executor to open an estate account in one of the best banks as listed above so that the entire procedure of liquidity and asset distribution can be carried out properly.

As you can see, the market is full of option for the best banks for estate accounts although, before choosing any, you must take into consideration the overall fees as well as how reliable the banking institute is.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best option if I wish to open Estate account?

Your probate lawyer should be able to guide you better on where you should open estate account as per your requirements. If you don’t have professional guidance, it is best to open estate account in the bank same as the decedent.

Does it cost a lot to open estate account?

The charges to open an estate account depends on the region as well as a number of other factors. The respective bank should be able to inform you about the fees in detail.

What is the procedure for opening an estate account with BOA?

You would be asked to provide personal information of the decease such as SSN or full name along with submission of a death certicial. Once the bank has all the data needed, it would open an estate account easily.

What documents are required for submission when opening an estate account?

Although exact requirement vary from one bank to another, typically, you would have to submit death certificate, ID, proof of banking, letter of authority, power or attorney, ID of executor, etc at the time of opening an estate account.