If my dad died and I am POA and one of the bank’s put a freeze on an account, will I get access back to pay for my father’s house until I put it on the market?

I know I have to sell the house. I have to wait for the W2 form and I have to fill paperwork out at the court for the bank account. What will I expect? Will the bank lift the freeze? I have to continue to pay for electric on the house to keep the heat on during the cold season and also I am cleaning the basement, I have a dumpster none of the other family member’s are helping. Will the bank grant the money over so I can continue to pay bill’s until the house goes on the market and if and when it sell’s.

Asked on December 14, 2011 under Estate Planning, New Hampshire

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You need to find out what caused the bank to freeze the account; was it the death itself or the bank's failure to realize you had power of attorney (legal power of attorney) prior to your father's death? If it was the death itself, you need to work with the bank and convince the bank without use of courts (too long and expensive) that you should have access to the account to withdraw for expenses. The way to do this is to make an appointment with the bank manager and make sure this person has significant experience with estates. If not, go to another branch and begin again with the manager there. Show the bank your father's death certificate and the power of attorney and explain that you are entitled to have access to the account (this is presupposing the power of attorney had language to have it effective after death). Most powers of attorney are only valid as long as the person for whom you have representative authority is alive. Now, if your father died intestate but you had power of attorney over the account, you might be able to get the court to appoint you as the administrator in an emergency motion so you can take that to the bank along with the death certificate and get this resolved.


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