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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33720
Experience:  15 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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My step father passed away last year, leaving my mother a

Customer Question

My step father passed away last year, leaving my mother a widow. They held accounts at 4 different financial institutions. At one bank, they had 2 accounts, but her name was only on one.According to my mother, they just never got around to putting her name on the account. It is north of $200,000. The bank gave her a list of things to send to them to put the account in her name including a Letter of Testamentary. I was told she could get this at the courthouse. Their story was much different. She has to open a probate account with a hearing, etc. They were together 44 years? Is there not another avenue for securing this letter so we can file it with the court?
JA: OK. The Estate Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: no.
JA: Please tell me everything you can about this issue so the Estate Lawyer can help you best. Is there anything else the Estate Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: only that all the rest of the accounts are in both of their names.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Estate Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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I was told she could get this at the courthouse.

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This is true but not complete... you do go to the courthouse to file a probate petition to open a probate case so that someone can be named Executor/Administrator of an estate and then Letters Testamentary can be issued.

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She has to open a probate account with a hearing, etc.

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This is correct.

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there not another avenue for securing this letter so we can file it with the court?

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Unfortunately no, since the amount in question is likely well above the "small estate" limit. Had they gotten around to making the account jointly owned, then this wouldn't be necessary. But with the account solely in husband's name, it will have to go through probate before it could be transferred to any heirs.

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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thanks

Barrister

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