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Can I legally withdraw money from my brother's bank account, he passed away in Feb. 2013.

San Jose, CA |
Filed under: Probate

I took care of my brother's bills for him when he was in the hospital per his request. I was his Power of Attorney at the hospital where he died. Now that he is gone can I withdraw money from his ATM? There is a couple of hundred dollars and I know he would want me to have it. There is no will, he has 2 daughters that live out of the area that were not involved with his business dealings. He was on Social Security Disability. I paid for his Cremation expenses. He told me to draw out money before his death but now I'm not sure if I can draw any more. SS has been notified. He didn't get a payment for April, but he did for March which is sitting in the bank, including another two hundred. I wanted to take the 200.00 for expenses, I'm sure SS will eventually take back March payment.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You are right that SS will take the payment back and no legally you cannot take money out of the ATM of your brother's account. If you paid for the funeral expenses out of our own funds, you would technically have priority to receive that $200. Otherwise the money belongs to his daughters. If the daughters agree that you should have it and they sign something to that effect, no harm done and it would probably be ok to withdraw it. Keep in mind as well that if the bank knows your brother passed away, the ATM card is likely blocked anyway. Good luck.


  2. I agree with Attorney James. You cannot legally take these funds. They might well go to you, as a reimbursement for administrative expenses that you paid. But you cannot legally grab them yourself. You need to go through proper legal channels.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!


  3. I agree, you are not entitled to the cash. You need to work out with your nieces to pay for the funeral expenses.

    This is for general information only. Nothing in this information should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship nor shall any of this information be construed as providing legal advice. Laws change over time and differ from state to state. These answers are based on California Law.Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should not act upon the information presented herein without consulting an attorney about your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship is established.

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