Skip to main content

My 36 year old single son died and we can not find his will or bank account information. How should I start the search?

Philadelphia, PA |

My son lived in Millville, N.J. Some of his mail came to my house also I am the mother.

Attorney Answers 2


I am so sorry for your sad loss. My condolences to you and your family.

As for your son's will and bank account information, there really is no best way to begin your search. You may have to go through his mail bit by bit, as it comes in, or even a thorough search of all his paper records that were in his house or in storage. It could be a daunting task indeed.

I might suggest getting access to his e-mail account and searching for any banking information there. I will tell you what will help more than anything though is getting several copies of his death certificate available, since you will need to provide that to any bank or account holder proving he has passed.

Eventually, you will need to petition the court to be appointed as the Executor of his estate to dispose of his possessions and settle all his accounts.

Speak with a reputable Wills, Trusts, and Estates attorney in your area for help with this.

Good Luck!

Attorney answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. This answer is meant for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice within the bounds of a professional relationship. It is always best to seek counsel with a competent attorney experienced in your area of issue and fully informed about the facts of your case.

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree


The prior attorney offers sound advice. The other thing you should do would be to locate his prior tax returns. If he had a bank account or investment accounts of any significance he would have reported the income on his Schedule B. Also, once named as executor/administrator you could request from the IRSeither a copy of his tax returns or a transcript of the tax years involved. Also, go through this check register to see if you can locate any insurance premium payments for any life insurance policy. Also, call his employer to see if he had life insurance through his work. Finally, retain an estates attorney to assist you in uncovering all assets and in doing the estate administration.

For insights into the grounds for removal please see my article entitled Probate: Removal of Personal Representative Under PA Estates and Fiduciary Code at the following link: Although it relates to PA law these grounds may be quite similar in your state. To be sure as to what you should do here you need to retain your own estates litigation attorney.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is , his website is and his blog is <> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.

Mark as helpful

Tax law topics

Recommended articles about Tax law

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics