If my mother died in another state without a Will, what are the steps necessary to settle her estate?

A cousin was appointed guardian but was removed from that position 2 years before my mother’s death. However, she still is accessing my mother’s accounts

Asked on August 17, 2012 under Estate Planning, New York


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  You need to advise the banks that hold your Mother's accounts that they are to freeze them immediately.  Then some one needs to be appointed as the personal reppresentative of her estate to act as a fiduciary.  She dies "intestate" and thus the intestacy statutes in the state will apply and determine how her estate is to be distributed.  If the cousin has dissipated estate assets then the PR needs to take action against her to return the funds. You file the petition in the county in which your mother resided at the time of her death.  Good luck.

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