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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36215
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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I'm in New York: My uncle just passed away Saturday-

Customer Question

I'm in New York: My uncle just passed away Saturday- fairly sudden. My mother, (who is named executor and sole beneficiary,) was power of attorney. The bank froze his account this morning and we need the money to pay the mortgage. What's the next step?
Do I need to probate the will and how do I go about doing that? There is no inheritance per se, aside from the house, which has a mortgage of $19,000. I am not certain about a gift rider, but if need be, she can put the house in my name so she will have a
place to stay. My uncle's only creditors at this moment are the mortgage company (citibank) and one home improvement loan with Wells Fargo. The rest are expenses that we can maintain until the title is transferred. We don't know where to start, pls advise.
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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If mother is the executor, then it would be up to her to file a probate case in the local Surrogate Court where uncle lived. You wouldn't have legal standing to do so on mother's behalf.

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So assuming mother files the probate case, she would get the petition to open probate from the Surrogate Court clerk and then complete it and file it. Once she filed it, there would be a hearing date where she would be appointed the executor formally and then could take possession of any of the deceased's assets, including any bank accounts. Mother as executor would then use those assets to pay any funeral expenses and any debts of uncle. Once she paid all the debts of the estate, she would be able to distribute the surplus assets to herself as the sole beneficiary and file a formal accounting and petition to close the probate case with the court.

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But until she is appointed executor by the judge, she won't have the power to access his bank accounts because the POA expired upon his death.

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thanks

Barrister