How to Liquidate a Bank Account

Liquidating a bank account is usually a straightforward process, particularly if the only assets in the account are cash or money market securities. If you hold securities in your account, you may have to take an extra step or two, but your liquidation should be easy to process.

Write a check. If your bank account is a checking or savings account, as opposed to an investment account, you can liquidate the account by simply writing a check. Verify your account balance either online or via your bank's customer service number, and write a check for the exact amount of your balance.

Visit your banker. If you don't have check-writing capabilities on your account, or if you would prefer dealing with a live person, go into your local bank branch and see a personal banker. Explain to her that you would like to liquidate your account, and the bank should provide you with either a bank check or cash, depending on your preference.

Transfer your account. Particularly if your bank account is an investment account, you may consider liquidating your account via transfer. Open an account at a new firm, and inform them of your intention to transfer your bank account. Whether your assets at the bank are stocks and bonds or simply cash, the new firm will provide you with a transfer request form to facilitate your transfer. Requested information will include the bank account number and branch location, plus a list of your assets. Additionally, the transfer form will ask if you want your assets transferred over as securities, or if you want them liquidated and transferred over as cash. Your bank account statement should have sufficient information to perform the transfer.

Follow-up on your liquidation. If you wrote a check or had your banker make the withdrawal, make sure that no dividends have hit the account after your liquidation; if so, make a follow-up request to remove these funds. If you have made a transfer to another firm, make sure that all of your assets have transferred over and that no residual funds are left behind.