Can the executor of an estate withdraw funds from a decedent’s bank accountbefore the estate has been inventoried?

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Can the executor of an estate withdraw funds from a decedent’s bank accountbefore the estate has been inventoried?

Executor was a signatory on the account and withdrew all funds from the decedent’s account immediately upon learning of death of the account holder but did not include funds in the estate inventory. I know this is ethically wrong but is it legal?

Asked on January 18, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Okay so what did the executor do with the funds because I am thinking that it is also illegal besides unethical.  Fist you indicate that he was a signtory, not a joint account holder, so arguably he had no claim of right on the account. And as the executor he as a fiduciary responsibility to include all funds.  I think that you should speak with an attorney about this matter.  One not associated with the estate at all.  Good luck.


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