Is it legal for a bank to withhold funds in the account of a deceased in order to apply it to other accounts?

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Is it legal for a bank to withhold funds in the account of a deceased in order to apply it to other accounts?

My dad passed and I am listed to receive his money out of his account. However, the bank said that it had the legal right to keep the money and apply it to other accounts he had with the bank. Is it legal for them to receive it?

Asked on September 20, 2014 under Bankruptcy Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

They most likely can do this. You need to check the various account agreements, terms of service, etc. your father had with the bank, but those agreements not infrequently state that the bank may use funds in any account posed by the account holder to pay any amounts the account holder owes but did not pay in relation to other accounts. If he signed anything giving the bank this right, or the more general right to withhold funds to address deficiencies or arrears, they can do this.


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