How do I gain access to a CD in my name but has a custodian attached to it who is now deceased?

My grandfather created a CD in my name before he died when I was still a minor. The custodian on the account is my step-grandmother, who is also now deceased. I am now 23 and want to access the CD (to either roll it back over in my name only or to move it to a savings account) but the bank says that I have to go to court in order to transfer the custodianship from my step-grandmother’s name. How do I go about this and why do I need to go to court if I’m no longer a minor and can present her death certificate? I live in another state.

Asked on May 24, 2012 under Estate Planning, North Carolina


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This doesn't sound correct. If the custodian is deceased (and custodian is only necessary for the time period in which you are a minor), then you need to go back and speak with the bank president or branch manager. Present the death certificate and indicate this is not a court issue. This is your certificate of deposit and not your grandmother's and therefore this is not a probate issue. If you cannot go to a branch of the bank because that particular bank does not have a branch in the state in which you live, file a complaint with the entity who regualtes the bank (department of financial institutions in the state in the which bank is or the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency if a national bank). This should help you. Otherwise, try to enlist the help of your bank in getting through to someone.

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