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How can i find out how many bank accounts and money my mother had when she passed away?

San Jose, CA |

Ok my brother and the lawer my mother made the will by,are not tell me how much money and bank accounts there were,and so after her death my brother ended giveing me a lump sum of money without any other papers including the funds in her accounts.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. There is way too much going on here to be able to give you a confident answer. In many states, if you accept the benefits from the estate, you do not retain the right to later contest the distribution. You need to check with a probate lawyer and determine what your rights are in the state where your mother resided at the time of her death.

    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!


  2. The executor of an estate has to make an accounting of all the assets they find of the decedent and what they do with the money. As a beneficiary you are entitled to see those documents, and in fact you should be able to view them at the probate court clerk's office where the estate was handled.

    It seems unlikely to me that this distribution to you is completely out of the blue. If you were a beneficiary under the Will, you would be listed as a party on the court case and would have received notices of the hearings and decisions where the paperwork you speak of was presented to and reviewed by the court. Likewise, if you received a distribution from the estate, the executor would have to account for that distribution to the court.

    Put more simply, your lump sum should have come to you a check from an account titled ESTATE OF MOM. If it was, you should be able to get the documents you seek at the probate court. If, on the other hand, you were given cash or a check from your brother's personal account, something may be fishy and you should hire an attorney to look into the matter further.

    Attorney Rosenberg is admitted to practice in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and currently practices in South-Central Connecticut with an emphasis on estate planning, elder law, probate, and tax matters. He may be contacted confidentially by email at Scott@ScottRosenbergLaw.com or by phone at (203) 871-3830. All correspondence through this website appears publicly, is not confidential, and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Atty. Rosenberg. Discretion should always be employed when posting personal information online. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All online content provided by Atty. Rosenberg on this and other websites is provided for general informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice. All content is general in nature. Attorneys are unable to ask the questions necessary to fully understand the legal issues faced by any particular poster. Postings and responses to questions only provide general insights on the topic discussed. They are not tailored to any reader’s specific situation, will not be accurate in all states, and are never updated or maintained to reflect changes in the law. No person should take action based on the information provided by anyone on Avvo.com or any other law-themed website without first consulting a local attorney with significant experience in your area of concern. Persuant to Circular 230, no online content may be used by any person to avoid taxes or penalties under the Internal Revenue Code.


  3. It sounds like your brother got his name added on accounts. It does not sound like probate was ever opened. You should petition to probate the will and seek appointment of someone other than your brother (the successor if one). If probate hasnt been filed and your brother does not have good cause for not filing he will be deemed to have waived his right to serve.

    You need to seek out a probate attorney.

    The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or given me confidential information by posting on this public forum, and my answer on this public forum does not constitute attorney-client advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: In order to comply with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. While I am licensed to practice in New York and California, I do not actively practice in New York. Regardless, nothing said should be deemed an opinion of law of any state. All readers need to do their own research or pay an attorney for a legal opinion if one is necessary or desired.

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