How can a wife get access to money in a bank account of her recent deceased husband if she’s not on account?

Asked on February 10, 2015 under Estate Planning, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Much depends on whether or not the husband left a will.  If husband left a will and appointed wife as an executor of the estate, then the will would provide the wife with authority to access those accounts.  If husband did not leave a will and wife is the only surviving person who could inherit, then wife may be able to sign what is called an affidavit of heirship.  Basically, there are a couple of different options, but they will turn on the exisitence or absence of a will, the number of other individuals who stand to inherit, and the size of the estate.  Wife needs to visit with an attorney who regularly practices in probate court-- they can guide her as to whether or not she will need to probate the estate in order to access the account.

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