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The Plain English Attorney

The situation is extremely typical among people who haven’t had to deal with a probate estate before, and my office gets these initial calls all the time. “So-and-so passed on, I need to get control of their checking account, but the bank said I need Letters Testamentary. Can you type those up for me?” Unfortunately, without them knowing, that’s like telling a plumber that a pipe burst in your house and everything is flooded and damaged, but if they could just sell you a roll of duct tape, everything will be back to normal in a few seconds. So what do you do when the bank tells you to get “Letters Testamentary?”

In this video, I review a post on Reddit and explain the answers to this important question.

A woman who can’t get access to her deceased husband’s money. I’m going to freely admit there is a lot more to this. This statement though reflects a lot of frustrating things that people come across when trying to get access to a deceased family member’s money. I’m using it for education purposes.

She notes on Reddit, “Still haven’t accessed my late husband’s money. Every time I think I have done all of the steps, they come up with more steps! It took me four trips to my local credit union just to create an estate account.”

Let’s talk about that for a minute. Here is where the frustration begins, with the bank. Usually, when you just walk into a bank the people who will greet you to set up accounts, that kind of very frontline person, particularly in the more urban areas, have usually been there less than a year and may not have had a lot of experience in dealing with estates, so they look stuff up. This doesn’t usually happen if it is the manager or someone who is experienced. It can get to be frustrating because they are looking it up and they go “Okay it looks like you need these three things.”

Letters Testamentary

Usually, that first step is “Letters Testamentary.” The bank personnel usually say “Yeah you need letters testamentary from the court.”

Please watch the video on my YouTube Channel to hear all of the information about this type of situation.

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