My Dad just died and I am his only relative but the bank will not release his money to me. What should I do?

My dad just died and I am his only relative but the bank will not release his money to me. What should I do?

I am so sorry about your loss. The passing of a parent is one of those events we all have to deal with eventually but it is never easy.

Your dad’s property will require Court action to transfer to you, his heir. You don’t mention if your father had a will. That will affect what happens next. A probate of your dad’s estate will be needed and an experienced attorney can give you an idea what that would look like in your case. If your father had other property, the probate will transfer ownership of those assets, as well as ownership of his bank account.

In Arkansas, it is sometimes possible to do a probate that is called a “small estate” if the total value of the personal property is less than the amount set by statute.  A small estate can often be probated and the assets transferred to you within two months after death. If the assets are more than that allowed for a small estate, the probate process will be a bit more involved but it is still possible to complete it relatively quickly if there are no complications. Again, an experienced attorney can guide you through this process.

One thing that is very important to know about probate is that you cannot spend any of your dad’s money or sell any of his property without a Court order. Your attorney will tell you to open a separate bank account for the estate and all money will need to be deposited into that account. You will have to account to the Court for all transactions in and out of that account until the Court enters an order that allows the balance to be transferred to you and your dad’s estate closed.

So, again, this could be a very short process, but your first step is to talk to an attorney who will help you each step of the way.

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