Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Not resolved

1 month ago, from a WF branch, the bank manager I was working with personally faxed all the required forms (dad's death cert, mom's death cert, probate cert, notorized affidavit of domacile, and authorization of funds transfer) to liquidate my late father's brokerage acct. into the estate savings acct. I'd set up.

After 3 weeks, nothing transpires; I call the estate processing dept and am told they can't do anything; check with the branch ( this came right off the cuff, without even asking for the acct number, which in my experience they inevitably request despite the fact you just keyed it in).

About a week later, I meet the bank manager who is surprised the issue wasn't closed. He has me call back, and this time I get a real witchy little snot who tells me that they only have the probate cert and dad's death cert, despite the fact that I have a confirmed fax transmittal of all 6 pages sent.

The real kick in the sack occured when I asked why no one proactively contacted me about the hold up. I get a *** and bull story of how they have no way to contact me, and she inadvertantly admitted that the account could have hung in limbo through time immortal if I'd not kept after them myself.

As if that would have been the case if I'd owed THEM money, right?

At that point, I was real pissed and said that since I have to go through all that *** again, I'd better get some confirmation of complete reciept of reqired forms, or at least get proactively contacted if there is another problem. At that point, this little gem tells me that I have to REQUEST that particular service to be done if I resubmit. Really? I have to request that? Huh?

No matter; they can explain all that to my estate attorney.

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Same exact thing happened to me while trying to close out my father's brokerage account this summer. Started the process in early July; still trying to get the funds transferred to a new WF brokerage account that I had to set up in the name of the estate.

Extremely frustrated with the Estate Processing Group at WF Advisors! Just as Pissed Zouave notes, I had to resend forms, check in with WF when nothing was happening ("Oh, I see you also need to submit XXXX for us to process your claim..."). They never called or emailed me to tell me they needed more information that they didn't specify up-front.

I wonder if WF is just incompetent, or if this process is intentionally full of roadblocks so they can hold our money as long as possible...

The former implies gross mismanagement; the latter criminal -- or at least nefarious -- intent.

I went through this process with Northwestern Mutual and US Bancorp without problems. Didn't have to create any new accounts.

I sent them death certificates, probate docs, and the required forms -- one time. These companies transferred the money from my father's account to me without further phone calls, emails, and faxes.


Just had the exact same experience, sent the required forms in January and no response for a month. Called to find out why and they stated they didn't have all the info. (utter lie) and couldn't see the seal on the death cert.

Dealing with Wells Fargo has been the absolute worse experience of all the financial institutions I've had to deal with for this process.

It's easier for their employees to get their hands on your money opposed to you, the rightful and legitimate owner.


bill kirkbride from wells fargo was impossible to deal with. 2 years after my mom passed, I still could not get her funds released.


I am helping my brother deal with Bank of America to close his deceased wife account. This has been a circus.

First he received a letter in the mail to submit the required documentation. Documentation was taken to a branch and up loaded to the Estate Enterprise Processing. Told it would take 5 days to process. Waited 7 days call bank and was told it would take another 3 weeks.

Was informed by Estate Processing to go to a branch and request Express Processing. Went back to the branch that up loaded the documents and they refused to assist up with the Express Processing. Went to a different branch and the young man was happy to help. Well this is when the trouble starts for real.

They state they could not accept the Affidavit of Surviving Spouse from out Surrogate Court office because it did not say Short Certificate. Cleared that up after speaking with someone more knowledgeable. Next issue the birth year was one year off on the Death Certificate. You would think they were underwriting a mortgage loan.

Next issue there was a deposit in the account after death, the 2014 Income Tax refund. Now we have to get a statement from Turbo Tax that a return was done and when it was filed. Every time you give them what they ask for they come back and ask for something else. My brother has been cleared by the State of New Jersey to do what he wants to do with his deceased wife's assets.

The Bank of America just refuses to hand over the money in the account to him. I have been in banking for 27 years and have never seen any one put though a hardship. Bank of America has some young kids reading a script processing these estates. We will be going to our US Senator's office and filing a complaint.

This has been going on since April 29, 2015, and it seems there is not end. The other banks he had to deal with the whole process was done complete within a half hour.


Just had a similar issue (it'll be nearly a month total of headache)...I learned the hard way DO NOT DEAL WITH THE BANK when it comes to Brokerage Accounts. Their information's way off for some reason.

I initially sent the docs to the bank branch since they kept ensuring me they'd handle everything. They didn't. I just kept getting "I don't know why this is taking so long."

Finally after stalking the bank manager for 2 weeks they give me estate processing who finally tell me everything was rejected due to the incorrect forms being submitted. I'd need to call Client Solutions to do get the transactions started. Which was additionally annoying because they're hours are East Coast (I'm on the West Coast so this seriously cut into my own business hours).

Client Solutions sent the correct forms, gave me all the proper instructions, and were all around much more competent.

I'm in the process of finally completing everything (and moving the money into my own account) and while I'm very happy it's over...I'm extremely leery about dealing with this bank in the future.

@Stimpson J Cat

I am not surprised to read the above and in fact would suspect there are more of us out there. My father died 8 year's ago and I have made several attempts to close his brokerage account and simply lose the will to continue.

I finally decided that I was going to take care of it last June and have had one bad set of directions after another and put away for a bit. I actually set up an estate brokerage account (they told me I had to) so that I could transfer the account and a checking account so I can liquidate the account into. The plan was for all of it to be sold as soon as I had authorization over the account. I now have been charged fees for an account I never used or wanted and because there was no cash in it I have recieved no less than 100 calls from their collection group days, nights, weekends.

Imagine if they put that effort into actual customer service and training their people to handle estate transactions! Not too mention that one of their people just hung up on me because I dared to complain that having to call through the central number again to reach estate processing because he wouldn't give me the number. So professional.

They must be a really unhappy bunch because it shows in how they treat customers.