Can a bank freeze a joint account because a dead spouse owed money?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a bank freeze a joint account because a dead spouse owed money?

My father passed away and was the sole money maker. He and mom shared an account. Because dad was the sole, he owed money on a loan. Bank has frozen account. Mom is trying to pay hospital bills. They had money in the account.

Asked on October 9, 2011 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Are you sure that the account was frozen because of the loan owed by your Father?  It may just be a coincidence.  I will explain why.  In New York, for example, once the state is notified of the death of a person accounts over I believe $30,000 are frozen automatically, although technically with a joint account the money passed to her automatically upon his death. So indeed the bank may have acted improperly here.  What you Mother needs to do is to go down and file for temporary letters of administration or if there is a Will, Temporary Letters Testamentary to be able to have the account unfrozen and to figure out what is going on here.  And she can do what ever is necessary with her fiduciary powers under the law.  Good luck.

 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption