how to close my brothers bank account afer he died without a will

my brother lived and died in dade city florida he had a checking account in beaumont texas he had no will sighed Im his sister and I live in new york state I have a non cureable diease and finding it hard to travel that distance I just got out of the hospital

Asked on March 24, 2017 under Estate Planning, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You need more than just the death certificate: you need to be appointed by the court as "personal representative" for your brother, which means getting court authority to act on behalf of his "estate" and wrap up his affairs (and pay any debts, and distribute any assets to heirs or beneficiaries). You would apply to the court in the county in which he lived. Ideally, you should retain an attorney to help, but if you want to do this yourself, or you and the estate cannot afford a lawyer, you can ask the probate court in that county for instructions. Once you have been appointed the personal representative, you will have a court order authorizing the bank to deal with you and give you the information. 

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