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What form(s) do I need to notify bank my father passed away?

Glendale, AZ |

My father passed away 2 years ago from a suicide. I have not come to terms with his suicide until recently and I did not notify his bank. He is the sole owner of the account. His estate is valued less then $50K. He left me in charge of everything. I have 1 sister and she pretty much let me take care of his things as I always had. He did not leave a will but he wrote before he committed suicide to leave everything to me BUT it was not notarized. I always had taken care of his personal stuff. I have his drivers license, passport, bank card and deed to a house he owned. He also owns a seller/buyer deed. Would the note he left is sufficient enough to transfer the deed and bank account? My name is the only name on his death certificate. He was not married. I live in Maricopa, Phoenix Arizo

Attorney Answers 3


  1. I'm sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, you will need to retain an Arizona attorney to assist you with the necessary documentation to transfer your father's assets. Given the fact that he owned a $50,000 bank account and a home, the odds are that you will need to be appointed as the Administrator of his estate. If he was unmarried at the time of his death, you and your sister should be the sole heirs. Good luck to you.

    This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.


  2. I have attached the instructions and form for Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property. This is your starting point. Sometimes the bank require additional information, so you will need to work with them. Good luck.
    http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/SuperiorCourt/Self-ServiceCenter/Forms/ProbateCases/prob_pbse1.asp

    Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.


  3. I agree with my colleagues. You should consult with a probate lawyer to determine how best to proceed. You may be able to use a small estate proceeding of some kind. This would likely provide for an equal division of the estate, however, and would not take the alleged Will into account. In Michigan, it is possible that the note could be considered a Will. Arizona mileage may vary a great deal. An attorney can advise you how to proceed.

    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!

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