What to do if my mom passed away a year ago and now I need letters testamentary for a bank in another state?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What to do if my mom passed away a year ago and now I need letters testamentary for a bank in another state?

She had a will naming me personal representative leaving me all of her estate. Her estate consists of 3 bank accounts, 2 checking and 1 savings all totaling $122,322.51. That is her total estate. I live out of state; my mom moved here 3 years ago. The bank will not close her accounts here because they were opened in another state. So they told me to go through the court there probate court to get a letter of testamentary or administration. Do I need an attorney and, if so, from which state? Also, will I have to open an estate account for the money?

Asked on November 27, 2015 under Estate Planning, California


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You will need to probate her will where she lived. It should not be that difficult and it sounds like you may have received some wrong advice.  Contact the executive offices of the banks where they were opened. If they are national banks, and she lived in California, California should be able to help you. If you are her personal representative, that is truly only when she is alive. See if those accounts named you as the beneficiary. If they did, you don't need to go through probate. If they didn't, you will need a letter of administration from the court so you can manage her estate.

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