My mom maintains a personal savings account via passbook in China Bank. Years ago, I asked her to consider requesting for an atm card. She refused because it will easily tempt her to withdraw her savings. Meanwhile, her friend advised her to open a joint account with me instead. My mom's friend was concerned of the inconvenience it might cause in case of an emergency.  My mom did not take any of these advices. She was simply determined to save.

Weeks after mom's death, this became a major concern in our family. 

I tried to search for online information to address our concern. I didn't find anything useful. I guess my mom was also discretely helping us. I realized, I have a former student who works in another China Bank branch. I shared my situation and was advised to prepare the following documents

1. PSA issued death certificate
2. Marriage Certificate (if applicable) 
3. Birth Certificate of all children (if applicable)
4. Accomplished BIR Form 1904 
5. Passbook of the Deceased
6. Valid IDs of the deceased and heirs 

I'm not sure how it works for single individuals. I believe the basic rule on heirs can be followed. It might also be different when the deceased left a valid last will and testament.

The requirements are relatively easy to secure except for the BIR Form 1904. The form can be downloaded here. You have to personally visit and file from a BIR regional or satellite office in your city. It sounds simple but TBH, BIR is quite a complicated government agency to deal with. 

My mom has an existing TIN number. Hence, one step was eliminated. The application system might be different if the deceased does not own a TIN number. I will detail my experience in another post. But one advice I can provide, visit the BIR satellite office early in the morning. They always claim that their system becomes offline in the afternoon. 

I have already submitted all requirements to the bank last week. The original copies of the documents were returned to me. Thank you, I don't have to request another set of PSA certificates for SSS. 

I was advised that processing will take several weeks. I'll have this post updated once I hear from the bank. Hopefully, the experience here will be better than SSS. 

To be continued....