What happens to your savings account if you die?

What happens to your savings account if you die?

KBC Brussels is required to temporarily block all accounts in the event of the account holder's death. Find out how and when the savings are released.

Why is a savings account blocked in the event of the account holder's death?

When a client or a client's spouse dies, KBC Brussels is required to do two things

  1. Submit an accurate tax return to the tax authorities
  2. Release the funds in the deceased person's accounts and the contents of their safe deposit box to the correct heirs

As a result, the bank has to temporarily block the accounts and the safe deposit box belonging to both the deceased person and their spouse. We do this as soon as we have been notified of the death.

In order to settle the banking business straightforwardly and effectively after somebody's death, you should start by reporting the death. You can do so online. We will provide further explanation of what you need to do in order to ensure that the funds in the savings account(s) are released.

When are the savings released in the event of a death?

In principle, KBC Brussels can only release the funds in the savings account(s) once

  • A tax return has been submitted
  • We are in possession of a deed or certificate of succession indicating who the deceased person's heirs are and that there are no outstanding social or tax debts or that these have already been paid
  • All heirs have issued and signed clear instructions
  • All other mandatory formalities have been dealt with

What happens to a savings account with a third-party beneficiary clause in the event of the account holder's death?

A savings account with a third-party beneficiary clause is a savings account that you open in your name but with another person (such as a grandchild, godchild, etc.) as beneficiary. You also specify the time at which the savings will be released to the beneficiary. If you die, the savings account will be transferred to the beneficiary's name through a change of title. However, the account will remain blocked until the release date specified by you.

Exemption from withholding tax

Each heir is entitled to an exemption from withholding tax on the first 980 euros payment made to them (2022 income), provided that

  • The interest is shared among the heirs
  • The heirs register with the bank by means of a special withholding tax form
  • The heirs state what share of the interest they will each receive

What to do when someone dies

We’re here to provide practical help on the things you need to do. Read the full text and/or use our handy checklist.

Notifying us that a client has died

Informing us of a death is the first step to making sure the deceased's banking and insurance affairs are taken care of properly and smoothly.

Estates experts

At KBC Brussels, you have a whole team assisting you in winding up the banking and insurance affairs after the death of your loved one.

Inheritance tax returns

Who fills in the inheritance tax return, who files it and where and when do they do so?