How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33716
Experience:  Attorney with 15 years experience
19958803
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

hello, my mother in law just passed away last wknd., leaving

This answer was rated:

hello, my mother in law just passed away last wknd., leaving no will, no executor no etc. Her daughter (my wife) was supposed to be added to the mothers bank account as autho. user but never got around to it. She didnt have much, maybe $4,000 total in both a savings and checking account. Does it vary from bank to bank (or no way)...will my wife be able to access funds with just a death cirt., same last name and address. The mother also has a house that is probably worth less than what is owed on it along with a small 2nd mrtg. and from what we can tell is behind at least two pymnts. I believe this mrtg., her savings and checking are at the same bank. Can the bank freeze the accounts (as little as they are) to recoup some of the lose?

thanks

Hello,

.

The short answer is no, once someone passes and there were no joint owners on an account, it is frozen until someone opens a probate case and is appointed personal representative for the estate. Then they have the authority to gather all the assets of the estate.

.

And yes, if she is behind in her payments, the bank can seize any funds in other accounts to use toward delinquent account payments. This is called "cross collateralization".

.

So the truth of it is that if the house is worth less than what is owed and she has other debts, there may not be much reason to even open a probate estate and it may wiser to just let the lender foreclose on the house.

.

.

thanks

Barrister

 

.

.

There may be a time lag between my replies as I am typically working with several customers at any given time, but rest assured, I will get back with you as soon as I am able.

.

If you need additional clarification on this question, just click "Reply" and I will be happy to help you. Please give me as much detail as you can so that I can respond after receiving all the relevant details.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I believe my wife has access to her mothers debit card and password, can she get in trouble for accessing the checking account?

Yes, this would be considered identity theft and bank fraud. If the bank finds out about it, it could result in criminal prosecution.

.

.

thanks

Barrister

 

.

.

There may be a time lag between my replies as I am typically working with several customers at any given time, but rest assured, I will get back with you as soon as I am able.

.

If you need additional clarification on this question, just click "Reply" and I will be happy to help you. Please give me as much detail as you can so that I can respond after receiving all the relevant details.

Barrister and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you