What will happen if my mom died and I just found out that I was supposed to inform the bank of that and not touch the money in her account even if I’m her executor?

She appointed me in charge of her bank account before she passed. I then had the power of attorney, and when she passed, I am also executor of her Will. She has a small amount of funds in her bank. I have been accessing her bank account to pay off bills and debts we left before I took her back home abroad to pass there. I want to know the right thing to do from here on.

Asked on March 9, 2015 under Estate Planning, New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. First, a Power of Attorney dies with the person for whom it is enacted so it was no longer valid when Mom passed. But if you were named jointly on the account then you have no issues with moving funds or paying bills.  How much is left in the account could determine what path you take now.  If it is under $30,000 then you can probate a small estate and use the Small Estate Affidavit.  I will give you a link to the court system online help as a start. If Mom had more assets then you will need to file the Probate Petition and the Will in Surrogate's Court.  Good luck to you. 


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