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

Asked almost 3 years ago - 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)

  1. Jacob Ryan Lauser

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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.... more
  2. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . 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... more

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