if my dad died, how do we get access the money in his bank accounts?

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if my dad died, how do we get access the money in his bank accounts?

He had about $15,000 in his checking and savings accounts. There were no beneficiary on the accounts. It is just my brother and I; he was divorced.

Asked on December 3, 2012 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Florida has a summary administration procedure for estates valued at less than $75,000.  This means that all your Dad's assets must add up to less than $75,000. It is not necessary to hire a lawyer to file a summary administration, and you can find the form online -- Google "florida petition for summary administration."

If your Dad had a will, the will must be filed with the petition.  If he had a will, the petition will be called "petition for summary administration testate."  If he did not have a will, it will be called "petition for summary administration intestate."  It would be best for both you and your brother to sign the petition (this is not strictly required, but having only one of you sign will make the process more complicated).

As part of this process, you and your brother will have to make diligent efforts to locate and pay your father's creditors.  Go through his bills and put those in order so that you can inform the court, notify the creditors, and pay them.

If your Dad owned a home, this may complicate matters.  If the deed passed the home to someone, then that is not handled in an estate.  If the deed was only in your father's name, a full administration will be required to transfer the property.  You have to hire a lawyer for a full administration.

I trust this gives you sufficient information to proceed.  Good luck.


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