what do i do to obtain my mothers bank account if their isn’t a will? the bank tells me i need a lawyer but wont tell me how much money is in the acut

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what do i do to obtain my mothers bank account if their isn’t a will? the bank tells me i need a lawyer but wont tell me how much money is in the acut

Asked on June 11, 2009 under Estate Planning, Missouri

Answers:

L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Some people sign a TOD (Transfer on Death) form for their bank accounts so that the account gets transferred to their beneficiary upon their death.  Inquire as to whether or not your mother signed that form.  If not, and if she has no will, her estate will need to go through probate, and her assets will pass by intestate succession.  This means that they will go to her heirs in the order set out by the state in which she resided.  Often, if there is no surviving spouse, the assets go equally to the surviving children of the deceased.  If there is no surviving spouse and you are the only child, you will get what is in her bank account after probate, where all debts are paid, including outstanding medical bills, taxes, etc..  The remaining assets would then go to you.  Contact an estate attorney in your area to see if probate is necessary in this case.


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