Death of a Member? The Best Solutions for Credit Unions

credit union death of a member solutions with ribbon

A percentage of credit union members pass away each year. Their accounts close and their assets transfer to inheritors.

On top of grief, inheritors deal with the logistical nightmare of financial paperwork.

This is not the most comfortable topic to discuss, but it’s still incredibly important. Read on to see how your credit union can help members and inheritors through difficult times.

What’s at Stake for Credit Unions

For credit unions, death of a member means a few things. Beyond the loss of a valued member, there’s also the risk of losing deposits and loan/interest income.

The value of these losses shouldn’t be understated. You can expect, at minimum, at least 1% of your members to pass away each year.

Providing end-of-life planning and solutions for members ensures that credit unions can be a moment of light in dark times. With the right solution(s), you can guide members and their loved ones through a difficult process, all while adding members and retaining deposits.

Tech Solutions that Help with the Death of a Member

A handful of promising solutions have hit the market recently. Some of the capabilities we looked for include:

  • End of life planning
  • Support after loss
  • Logistical benefits to members and inheritors
  • Financial benefits to the credit union

These are a few of the best fintech solutions we’ve seen that help credit unions, their members, and the inheritors of the deceased.

Note: This list is presented in alphabetical order.

1.     Peacefully

Peacefully is a fintech platform that helps people with end-of-life planning and managing recent losses. Until recently, they’ve operated in the direct-to-consumer space, but they’re branching out to employers and credit unions (with recent fintech acceleration from Curql Fund).

The only knocks against Peacefully are that A) they don’t keep deposits in the credit union after the death of a member, and B) the don’t have a memberization strategy.

2.     Ribbon

Ribbon is a digital estate and inheritance platform that retains deposits and brings in new members. Their simple plug-in avoids core integration, allows inheritors to digitally submit an inheritance request, verifies all documentation (e.g. death certificate), and gives a slick view to prioritize retaining inheritors.

By simplifying the estate settlement and inheritance process, they allow credit unions to support and memberize surviving loved ones..

The only downside of Ribbon is that they don’t offer will, trust, or probate for estate planning.

3.     The Postage

The Postage partners with financial institutions to offer will and estate planning. They include document management—including a vault for messages and memories from loved ones—as part of their platform.

The only catch is that The Postage doesn’t have a reliable deposit retention or memberization strategy.

4.     Trust & Will

Trust & Will is an estate planning platform that offers trust, will, and probate. Credit unions that want to offer end-of-life planning for their members can partner with Trust & Will to offer a co-branded experience.

Like the other estate planning services, Trust & Will doesn’t do deposit retention or memberization.

How to Choose a Solution

We can’t tell you which platform is right for you. However, we’re curious about how Ribbon fits into the field.

Peacefully, The Postage, and Trust & Will focus on the estate planning portion (some include some post-death estate management education and support). However, none of the three are designed specifically to support inheritors—nor do they reliably retain the deposits of the deceased (or bring in new members).

Therefore, we think it’s a good idea to include Ribbon in the search for an estate planning solution. For credit unions, after the death of a member, Ribbon essentially takes paperwork, verifies it, and puts a CRM around it. The result is much higher deposit retention, plus new account creation for inheritors.

On its own, it’s a good deposit retention and memberization tool. But used in conjunction with an estate planning platform, credit unions can ensure that the member journey doesn’t end at death.

See more about it here:

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