My husband and I have been giving our daughter some supplemental income for at least the past 4 years at the same bank. We send a check from our bank to hers every month.
Our dear daughter passed away 2 weeks ago. Is there a Pro Se method we can use to retrieve the $285.00 thats left in her account? The Bank told us we needed a letter of administration from the courthouse which will cost 250.00. Is there a Pro Se letter we can write or a Pro Se method we can use that will not cost anything . It is our money and we feel there must be a legal binding free way to obtain this money back. Thank You.
If you gave the money to your daughter as a gift, then it is not your money - it belonged to your daughter. I'm assuming she passed away without a will. Therefore, the courts will have to rule on how to distribute her estate, which I'm guessing isn't very much. Therefore, you have no claim on any of it other than through probate. You can certainly initiate a probate action, which would generate the letter you need (the costs the court told you about are merely the filing fees with the court), but the costs associated with doing all that would far exceed the $285 left in the account. The bank simply isn't going to turn over the money to you because you asked for it - they need a court order, which you will have to go through the court (and pay the fees) to get. My advice would be to simply forget about it.
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Very sorry to hear of your daughter's passing. The case is much more complicated than that. Typically, a good way to retrieve funds from a bank account after a person's death is to make the account a joint account or a POD (payable on death) account before the person's death. This account must have been in her name only with no POD. That means the money in the account now passes to her hiers. It's possible that you may not have inherited the money, so the bank is looking for a letter (the "letter of administration" that they are talking about) from a probate judge saying that you are the rightful inheritors of the money. (It doesn't matter that you put the money in the account.) You need to speak to a probate attorney--and take her will to the probate attorney, if there is a will--to find out if the money is yours and how you can retrieve it.
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