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Thanks for all the great comments!

I don't want to burden you with more (unless you want!) but some answers:

I think he opened the account about 6 years ago, so long term strategy of banks being bought up? maybe my relative had this idea that it was going to happen soon. but these are pitifully small banks (at least 1 is a whopping 2 branches?! Seems the big banks would run them over rather than go through the costs of buying them up? (typically, the small bank branches I think of area dowdy, small, minimal parking, etc. - need lots of remodel and still not the size / layout of the big bank branches (1 small bank branch near here just got torn down and a dry cleaner is going in).

Yes, they are paying some dividends. but the losses outweigh the yield!

And he had a small business, but no bank employment / experience.

Sure, being deceased, it'll be the broker describing the situation vs. what's plausible. We'll ahve to see what happens.

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