How can I retrieve money from my deceased husband’s checking account?

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How can I retrieve money from my deceased husband’s checking account?

My husband of 30 years passed away 8 months ago. He had a checking account and I have no idel on how to retrieve the money. It has less than a $1000 in it. I am 64 years old on a fixed income and had a stroke, so my speech is impaired. When I went to the bank to see how to properly handle this matter, the representative laughed in my face. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I really direction on how to go about doing this? And what is a general cost range?

Asked on January 2, 2017 under Family Law, Mississippi

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I assume that your husband died without a will since you did not mention that he had one. In such a case, he died "intestate". This means that you could go to the probate court as ask for appointment to become the administrator of his estate. However, since it is such a small estate, the law allows you to file for a small estate process, which is cheaper and faster. In fact, MS like some other states, has a procedure that allows inheritors to skip probate altogether if the deceased died without a Will. It's available only for bank accounts up to $12,500. All an inheritor has to do is prepare a short document, stating that they are entitled to a certain asset. This document, called an "affidavit", is signed under oath. Additionally, the person claiming the money must sign a bond guaranteeing to pay any lawful debts of the deceased person to the extent of the withdrawal. Then, when the institution holding the property (for example, as in your case, a bank where the deceased had an account), gets the affidavit and a copy of the death certificate, it will release the asset. At this point, you can contact your county probate court for further information or check online.


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