Under the law, once a will has gone through probate and executor is appointed, should this be sufficient to access bank accounts? 22 Answers as of April 15, 2014

In my case my husband is deceased. I am the executrix. Bank demands a hard copy of death certificate but my lawyer says will probate is legally sufficient.

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Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
While your letters of administration from the court should be sufficient it is not unusual for third parties to make their own demands for additional documentation such as death certificates.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/15/2014
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
In Nevada once the executor is appointed he should be able to access the bank accounts of the decedent.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/15/2014
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, generally yes; the Letters of Administration appointing the personal representative (you, AKA executrix) should be sufficient to access bank accounts and other assets titled to the decedent (your late husband). However, banks often request to view the death certificate, so it's usually easiest to bring one with you to show the bank.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 4/15/2014
Home Town Law, P.A.
Home Town Law, P.A. | Sabina Tomshinsky
Generally, a certified copy of the Letters of Administration (a document formally appointing you as the Personal Representative of your husband's estate) along with the death certificate without cause of death and your photo ID should be sufficient.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 4/14/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
I don't know why you aren't asking the lawyer, but The court will issue Letters Testamentary, which is your proof that you are the exec. The bank does NOT need a death cert., but many times the banker is ignorant of the proper procedure.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/14/2014
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    Once the court appoints you executor, current certified copies of your Letters of Testamentary should be sufficient for the bank.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Bank rules control.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Law Office of Nathan Wagner
    Law Office of Nathan Wagner | Nathan J. Wagner
    Your lawyer is correct. However, if the bank will not accept the court order appointing you as executor, it's faster, cheaper, and easier to just provide them with a copy of the death certificate. Otherwise, you will have to haul them into probate court and have the court order them to recognize you as executor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    I would give them the Death Certificate as well. The bank is probably just following their internal procedures. While your lawyer is not wrong, it is going to be easier to just give the bank what it wants that to try to fight them on this. If it was something more expensive or complicated, I might challenge them. In this case, I would just give it to them. Perhaps they can make a copy of the original and give it back to you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    Many banks require a death certificate for their files. The letters of administration should be sufficient however.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Your lawyer is right, your Letters Testamentary should be sufficient. Banks live according to their own laws, however, and don't give a rip for the laws enacted by the legislature of the State of Oregon. Your choice is to pay a lot of money to have your lawyer argue this with Bank, or pay for another death certificate to give to bank. Get the death certificate.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    It is common for institutions to request a copy of the Death Certificate. It is acceptable for you to provide the bank with a copy.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Banks require death certificates, usually certified.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    If you provide the bank with a certified copy of your letter of office that should be sufficient to gain access to any bank account held in your husband's name. If the bank account was a joint account the account would not be in your husband's estate. It would be owned by the surviving joint tenant. The death certificate would give them authority to turn the account over to the surviving joint tenant. As the executrix you can require the bank to provide you with information on all of his accounts, including the title on all of his accounts.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    Give the bank your letter of authority. But if the bank insist on the dead certificate, give it to the bank instead of arguing with it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
    Your lawyer may be right from a legal standpoint, but it does not surprise me that the bank wants a death certificate. We always have our probate and trust clients order at least six death certificates for this very reason. You will save a lot of time and money by cooperating with banks, insurance companies, etc. whose internal policies require certificates than arguing with them.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    C Page Hamrick Attorney at Law | C Page Hamrick
    You can get a copy of the death certificate at the local clerk of the county commission office.
    Answer Applies to: West Virginia
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    Give the Bank what they want. It is not worth fighting with them. Just calling your attorney has cost you more than the cost of the death certificate. Many institutions will require the death certificate.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    You should bring both. The bank needs to see the death certificate as it has the SSN on it. Bring both.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    As Executor of an estate, you will receive "Letters of Appointment" which is signed by the judge and which informs others, including banks, that you have the authority to collect the assets of the estate, pay all owing debts and taxes, and distribute the remains to the heirs. The bank should accept that document in place of the death certificate.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Your lawyer may be right, but is that getting you into the accounts? Provide a copy of the death certificate and don't waste money on the little stuff getting the lawyer involved.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    The Law Office of David L. Leon
    The Law Office of David L. Leon | David L. Leon
    It depends on the signature card of the account. If the account is Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship (JTWROS) or Payable on Death (POD) or Transfer on Death (TOD) or has a beneficiary designation, then a death certificate should suffice. In all other cases, an order from the probate court or letters testamentary / administration would be needed. In most cases, it's just easier to give the bank what they want for their internal bookkeeping purposes (in this case a death certificate) versus trying to explain to their staff why they don't need it.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 4/14/2014
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