How long can a bank hold assets after a person dies?

Additional Information:

Father died 1 year ago, will and small estate affidavit filed at that time.  Bank holds an equity line of credit on home,$70,000.  Estate worth less than $100,000.  Bank demands letter of office, obtained from probate.  Funds to pay for filing of probate by lawyer are in the bank ,we can not access the funds.  We can’t pay until we have access, we can’t access until we probate.  Catch 22, Bank said other options than probate were possible, then refused to return calls, to negotiate.  We filed a complaint with state banking association and the bank still refuses, to state what the other options are, now stating probate is the ONLY option.  Bank still taking loan payment and safe deposit fees from checking account.


At this point you need to begin the probate of the estate.  Perhaps you should find a new attorney?  You should be able to find an attorney who is willing to defer his legal fees until the fiduciary has been appointed if your family cannot afford the initial retainer.  You would need to pay the filing fees at the probate court.  You did not state in which state your father died.  The filing fees are set by each individual state and can vary widely. The filing fees for a $30,000 estate should not run more than $500.Margaret L. Cross-Beliveau, Esq., LL.M.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

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The attorneys at The Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for estate planning (wills and trusts), Medicaid (planning and applications), probate (estate and trust administration), business law (formation and operation), real estate (residential and commercial), taxation (federal and state), and civil litigation (in connection with these practice areas). The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Boca Raton, Florida; Danvers, Massachusetts; Waltham, Massachusetts; Quincy, Massachusetts; Manchester, New Hampshire and Salem, New Hampshire.

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