my mother passed on feb 11 need access to her bank so i can pay the home heath people

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my mother passed on feb 11 need access to her bank so i can pay the home heath people

I don’t know if I am the beneficiary on her bank account, she was very private.

Asked on February 23, 2018 under Estate Planning, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Contact the probate or surrogate's court about having yourself appointed the "personal representative" for the estate; the court can issue an order (sometimes called "letters testamentary") which give you authority over your mother's "estate," or the assets she left behind (including the bank account).
If your mother had a will, the court will appoint whomever the will named as executor the executor/personal representative. If there is no will, then if you are the only child (or if more than one child, you are the only one interested in taking on this responsibility), it will almost certainly appoint you. The clerk of the court can explain what you need and need to do to be appointed. Once you are appointed, you will have the legal authority the bank needs to let you access her account.


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