How do you get account access after someone dies in Texas? Four Steps:
In most cases, you’ll need some sort of legal document to gain access to bank accounts after a person’s death. Depending on your bank and your family situation, the steps may be very simple.
Here are the first steps in getting access to a deceased person’s bank account:
- 1. Talk with the bank. Tell the bank that the account holder died, tell the bank who you are, and ask them what documentation they need from you.
- 2. Give the bank a death certificate. Once you give the bank a death certificate, this will usually freeze the bank account so that money won’t keep trickling out to pay automatically recurring bills. Exercise some caution, though, because you may want to keep some payments current (like the mortgage and utilities).
- 3. Contact a probate attorney. If the bank tells you they need “letters testamentary” or “letters of administration,” then contact a probate attorney. These “letters” are actually legal documents granted by the probate court after a hearing. This means you’ll need an attorney. Some probate lawyers, like us at Shutt Law Firm, offer free probate consultations. Getting letters testamentary in Texas can take weeks or months, so the sooner you can start the probate, the better.
- 4. If it’s a joint account or “P.O.D.” account… Some bank accounts don’t require any additional documentation. For example, ask the bank if the savings or checking account was “joint tenant with right of survivorship” (“JTWROS”) or “payable on death” (“POD”). If the account is one of these types, then the account automatically transfers to the new owner, without any probate court documentation.
Even if the bank employee says the bank requires probate court documentation such as letters testamentary to gain account access, you need not worry. In Texas, probate is relatively affordable and straightforward. Yes, you’ll probably need a probate attorney, but it won’t be as expensive as you’re probably thinking. The probate process in Texas generally costs less than clients had feared, and the entire probate process can be complete in a matter of weeks. The important thing is that you get started.
To ask a legal question or get legal help from a probate attorney in the Dallas, TX area, use the online contact form to the right or call (214) 302-8197. If you prefer to meet at the law office in person in Richardson, TX- the attorney will gladly offer a free consultation.
Visit www.ShuttLawFirm.com for more information on bank account access after death in Texas, Dallas Probate Lawyer Isaac Shutt, Dallas County Probate or Collin County Probate, what steps to take to get account access if there was no will–contact Richardson, Texas Probate Attorney Isaac Shutt at email@example.com.
Shutt Law Firm’s office is conveniently located just north of Dallas, TX, near the intersection of highway 75 and Arapaho Road in Richardson, TX.
You can also call Mr. Shutt at (214) 302-8197 for more information on the topic discussed in this article or to discuss a different legal matter. For existing clients, quick phone-calls and brief e-mails are always free at Shutt Law Firm PLLC. Please consider the Shutt Law Firm if you need letters testamentary, how to serve as executor in Texas, how to probate in Dallas County Probate Courts or the Collin County Probate Court, a Texas Last Will and Testament, or you need a probate attorney in Dallas, Richardson, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Garland, Addison, TX, Collin County, or surrounding North Texas area.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this brief article constitutes legal advice. The information provided herein is merely provided in the spirit of education. If you have a legal question, you should consult an attorney for your specific legal situation. Further, nothing in this article shall be construed to have started an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship exists until both you and attorney Isaac Shutt sign an engagement letter with the Shutt Law Firm, PLLC.