My father passed away last week. I am an only child and my mother has passed away about 10 years ago. How do I prove that I am the beneficiary to his credit union if my father didn’t have me listed on his account?

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My father passed away last week. I am an only child and my mother has passed away about 10 years ago. How do I prove that I am the beneficiary to his credit union if my father didn’t have me listed on his account?

I have the original paperwork stating that I am the only beneficiary regarding his life insurance policy and on miscellaneous papers I have run across. When I called to notify the credit union of his death, they said that I should start finding an attorney for his estate.

Asked on October 4, 2017 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. What the credit union wants is something that is sanctioned by the Probate Courts that would permit them to release the funds to your Father's Estate.  Is the credit union a checking or savings account?  Is his entire estate under $100,000.00?  If the answer is "yes" then Illinois allows you to file a small estate affidavit that would make the Probate process easier.  Generally one would file a Petition for Letters of Administration (no Will) to appoint you as the Personal Representative of your Father's estate.  You would file the Petition in the County in which he resided at the time of his death.  Likely you will need an Affidavit from some one who knows you and your family situation to prove that you are the only descendant of your Father and that there are no others lurking around.  It would be some one who knows you and your family for some time.  The Probate Court clerks are very helpful with all of this.  Also call your local Bar Association and see if they have a referral service and anyone offers free or reduced rate comsultations.  Then see if an attorney will help you for a flat rate or hourly fee.  Good luck.


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