How does the executor know what money or bank accounts the deceased person had.

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How does the executor know what money or bank accounts the deceased person had.

The person passed away the executor claims he does not know what bank accounts or monies the deceased had because he has no bank ststements.

Asked on May 10, 2009 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

LAR, Member CA State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The Executor, in a word, is being lazy.  The Executor has a fiduciary duty to ascertain the assets in an Estate.  Just because there are no bank statements, the Executor should not stop there.  There may be other papers in the decedent's household that will indicate where funds were kept.  If the Estate is being administered by an attorney, the attorney can assist with locating assets.  The Executor could begin by visiting banks in the neighborhood where the decedent lived and produce the appropriate State document that indicates the Executor's authority over the Estate to allow the bank to research its database.  The Executor should hire a company that can run asset searches based on Social Security number of decedent.  The Executor has a duty to the Estate.  Do not let the Executor slide and if the Executor is not performing properly, advise the Court and have the Court order compliance or any other appropriate remedy.  This all assumes that you have an interest in the Estate and a basis to make these objections. 


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