How can co-executors close the savings accounts oftheir recently deceased mother?

UPDATED: Jan 27, 2012

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How can co-executors close the savings accounts oftheir recently deceased mother?

My mother passed away 2 months ago and my brother and I were named co-executors of her estate. There are savings accounts that are in my mother’s name only (they should have been in our names as well but there was a bank error). We have a copy of the death certificate and the will but we are in different states. Can we withdraw the funds without travelling thousands of miles, I hope, as my brother is not well?

Asked on January 27, 2012 under Estate Planning, Oregon


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  It is unclear to me here if you and your brother have already been appointed as co-executors of the estate, because you can not act unless and until the court has appointed you. You will need not only her death certificate but Letters Testamentary. Now, once appointed, generally speaking you can act individually but I would check with the bank to make sure. And if it may be too difficult for your brother to travel and act in his capacity, he may want to consider renouncing his appointment.  You can act alone.  Good luck.   

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