I'm not sure what that means.
Thank you for your follow-up, Julie
The process of 'probate' is a formal attempt to close out the estate of someone who passed away. That person become the representative (if listed in the will) or an administrator (if no will exists), and is responsible for paying all debts out of the remaining assets, winding down affairs, paying taxes, and distributing any of the inheritance to heirs. That person becomes the custodian of the funds and based on that person's role in the probate process becomes able to obtain all that information that you are seeking since otherwise if someone passed away, the bank would not close out or allow for removal of the funds if the accounts are solely in your father's name. To get the information you are seeking, consider starting the probate process and then contacting the woman formally, or contacting the banks directly. Becomes an administrator requires going to probate court where if the office finds you to be able to perform such obligations, they will issue you court documents that would allow you to act on the deceased's behalf. Those are the documents that you could use with the bank to get at the information if the woman is still unwilling to communicate with you.
Hope that helps.
So to confirm, if I become the representative for my father's estate and have all the necessary documentation needed, I should be able to remove any funds from his banking/saving.
No, not quite. Before you remove, you have to first pay off or negotiate with creditors, wind down his affairs, file taxes with the state, and then whatever is left you can remove. Removing funds purely as a representative without following those steps would violate probate and would be considered embezzlement and tax fraud as well as a breach of fiduciary duty. You CAN get at the funds, but you would need to perform a few steps first before you can get those funds free and clear.
Can you tell me my first step in order to start the probate process ?
Sure thing. You would need to contact the probate court or probate office in the county where your father resided. You would need to stop by with a copy of your father's death certificate, your own ID, and proof of relationship. Check with them to see if a will was probated or if anyone filed for probate first. If neither is the case, request to start the process. You would need to take an oath to promise to distribute the assets correctly, and there may be a fee to file, but that amount can be later reimbursed from the estate.
Thanks so much !!
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