What to do if my ex-husband passed away last year but neither his new wife nor my 2 teenage children have been able to access his bank account?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What to do if my ex-husband passed away last year but neither his new wife nor my 2 teenage children have been able to access his bank account?

They all go to the bank together and have all agreed to split the money 3 ways but every time they go to the bank they’re turned away. They’ve tried affidavits of heirship, they’ve tried small estate affidavits. Nothing works. Every time the come back with 1 document the bank tells them they need another. What would be the correct way for the 3 of them to finally get into his account?

Asked on August 31, 2015 under Estate Planning, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Some bank employees just don't know what they are doing... but others do... so without knowing more what the bank wants, they may have to retain an attorney to send a demand letter.  
Usually, for small estates, affidavits of heirships are sufficient.  Sometimes it's just a matter of going up the ladder at the bank.  If the bank account or estate is a larger estate... they may have to go forward with probate.  It all depends on the value of the estate.  Set up a consultation with a probate attorney-- you may not need to retain them to do a probate... just to send the demand letter.  

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