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John Elder
John Elder, Estate & Elder Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience:  Over 14 years experience in Medicaid, Estates, Trust.
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My brother died this week. He has no will. His only asset is

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My brother died this week. He has no will. His only asset is a savings account with less than $50,000 in it. He has only one heir, a daughter age about 28. The bank says we need an "official representative" to access the account.
My family wants me to handle this. Our goal is to get the money to the daughter and close this out as simply and inexpensively as possible.
I want to know how I can become the "official representative"? what do I need to do? Can we do it without a lawyer? What are the pitfalls I need to watch out for?
Welcome! Thank you for your question.

This can be done very easily so long as your brother did not owe money to anyone. If he did not have creditors then your niece can file an affidavit of collection with the probate court in the county where your brother died. Unfortunately this is not something that you can do for her as it is only allowed to be filed by the legal heir of the estate. The daughter is the only legal heir.

Here are the instructions to the affidavit of collection:

Here is the affidavit of collection form:

All that is required is that the niece has to fill out the affidavit, have it notarized and take it to the bank with a certified death certificate. If the account has more than $50,000 then the affidavit cannot be used.

I cannot provide you with legal advise. I have provided you with information about the law related to your question. My answer, and any information that you find online, should not take the place of having a consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.

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