If my father-in-law recently passed away and didn’t have a Will, how can we get information on his bank account?

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If my father-in-law recently passed away and didn’t have a Will, how can we get information on his bank account?

We have not been able to obtain any information on his account. My husband’s aunt’s name is on the account, and I feel like she is taking money that should not be hers. We paid for the funeral, and need any money to help with expenses. Is there any way we can find out how much money was in there, and keep his aunt from taking it all? Does his only child get the money?

Asked on November 5, 2010 under Estate Planning, Arkansas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your loss.  If your Father-in-Law died without a Will then he died "intestate" and the intestacy laws in the state will apply.  generally it goes to his spouse and children.  If no spouse then the children share.  You have stated that there is an only child so then he or she would inherit all.  As for the bank account, how it was held will matter here.  Was it a joint account or was she merely a signatory?  His only child has to go to court and ask to be appointed as the personal representative of the estate.  It is probably known as the Administrator of the estate. Once appointed he or she will have the right to inquire as to any asset that had his name on it prior to his death.  And if the aunt is doing something sneaky the administrator has the right to bring an action against her.  Good luck.


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