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Can You Talk To Your Deceased Spouse’s Bank in California?

Your spouse has passed away. After the funeral you are left alone with grief and a mountain of problems. You may have to deal with mortgage payments, credit card debts, car financing and other loans. Immediate cash could be needed to pay for living expenses or obligations of the decedent.

The problem is- these financial institutions won't even talk to you.

Most of the time, the issue is not that you have no right to get the cash released or the loan modified; the problem is that financial institutions give strict instructions to their staff to stay quiet and unresponsive due to fears of violating the law.

As a rightful heir to your spouse's assets, how can you get access to his or her bank account, safe deposit box or securities?

The easiest and quickest way to solve most of the financial problems widowers encounter after the death of a spouse is to talk to a California probate law attorney like Jeffrey Field who will give efficient and practical support:

  • Verifying if the bank account is in joint tenancy, as a trustee for another or in the decedent's name alone, and what the value of the estate is;
  • Verifying the will left by the spouse or if the account was in community property;
  • Supplying all the required documents to the banks to get the account released: death certificate, or a declaration by the surviving spouse;
  • And in some cases, getting authorization of the estate representative by the probate court.

As an experienced California business and probate law attorney, Jeffrey Field can give invaluable advice on how to prepare a succession and what to do if a loved one died before estate planning was possible. Estate planning in California is essential to ensuring that surviving loved ones are not burdened with the complexities, long duration, and high costs associated with a probate process.

Call La Crescenta-based attorney Jeff Field at 818 369-7900 or send us an email for a FREE consultation.