If my uncle just died, what do we need to do to access his bank account to help off set the expense?

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If my uncle just died, what do we need to do to access his bank account to help off set the expense?

My uncle just passed. He was 106 and a WWII veteran who was living at the VA. He has no children and has never been married. My dad is his only living sibling but he is an 88 year old dementia patient at the VA. It is up to my sisters and brothers (his neices and nephews) to bury him.

Asked on December 9, 2012 under Estate Planning, Alabama

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You should first speak with the VA about burial benefits for your uncle.  A social worker at his VA residence should be able to help you find out if he is eligible for burial benefits.

If your uncle had few assets, his estate may be eligible for a summary administration under Alabama law.  I do not practice in Alabama but understand the Alabama summary administration limit to be $25,000 with no real property involved.  If your uncle had less than $25,000 in non-real estate property, you should consult a probate & estate lawyer in his area to find out the specific procedures for distributing these assets.  If he had more than this in assets, you definitely should hire a lawyer.


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