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    How to Access the Deceased’s Bank Accounts?

    After a loved one passes away, it is not uncommon to want to begin handling their affairs right away. Often, one of the first things the family will want to access the deceased’s bank accounts. Unfortunately, they quickly learn that the bank will not speak with them or give them any information, let alone access to the account.  So, what can you do?  How can you gain access to those funds?  We’ll cover that in this post.

    claim deceased bank accountsMy name is Erik Broel & I am the founder & CEO of Georgia Probate Law Group. At our firm, we help families who have lost a loved one navigate the complex and confusing legal process so they can make sure the estate is handled properly and their loved one’s memory is honored.   Everything discussed in this video is for general information and is not legal advice – for specific information about your situation, please go here to request a complimentary consultation with one of our estate probate lawyers.

    With who will financial institution discuss deceased’s bank accounts

    Generally, a financial institution will only discuss an account with a person who has a legal right to access the account.  In an estate situation, the most common ways to gain access to the deceased’s bank accounts are:

    1. Being the Personal Representative of the Estate
    2. Being a beneficiary on the account
    3. Being a joint owner on the account

    The good news is that if you are a beneficiary on the account or a joint account holder, the bank should give you access to the funds without much more effort on your part.

    Related Topic:  The Responsibilities of an Executor

    Deceased’s Bank Accounts

    If you are not a beneficiary or joint account holder, though, you will need to become the Personal Representative of the Estate to gain access or information.  To do that will involve filing an appropriate petition with the Probate Court and being appointed by the Probate Court.  It is important to note that even if you have a Will that identifies you as Executor,

    the Will will not give you access until it has been filed with the Probate Court and probated.


    deceased bank accounts

    For more information about this and other probate topics, please go to GPLG.com/Handbook to download a complimentary copy of our Georgia Probate Handbook.  You’ll learn the key things that go wrong in an estate, how to prevent them, and what to do if they happen.

    You also can reach out to our office at (770) 796-4582 to set up a consultation.


    Disclaimer: The information above is provided for general information only and should not be considered legal advice. Our probate attorneys provide legal advice to our clients after talking about the specific circumstances of the client’s situation. Our law firm cannot give you legal advice unless we understand your situation by talking with you. Please contact our law office to receive specific information about your situation.

    About the author

    Erik J. Broel
    Founder & ceo

    Erik founded the firm in 2009. He sees it as his personal mission to demystify the process of handling an estate or trust, and to help people by making the complex estate process simple and accessible. He believes there is always a better way to do things, and loves finding new and innovative ways to deliver better, more effective service that solves the client’s key problem or issue, and improves the client’s life.

    More about Erik
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