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Mother passed, sister is on will to handle Mother's estate.also signed paper at bank as sister being cosigner( this is form bank instructed them to fill out).
Why is this when we have will and siblings are in agreement with will and sister handling Mom's business???? We thought with will everything was done in order!

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Sorry I meant to say Mom born 8/12/23 died 8/12/15.
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I got my mother's death certificate a lot quicker than 4 - 6 weeks, but I don't remember how long it did take except that I had it within a week. It might be that the funeral home was more experienced, had more stuff and could get things accomplished quicker.

I'm not even sure what a convenience signer is, but it doesn't sound as if it's a joint account which would allow your sister access to the funds after your mother's death. ArmyRetired seems to know more about this type of account.

I think the numbers in the date of your mother's death must have jumped around. Do you mean 8/23/12? Or wouldn't that be more recently? I had the impression she had just passed in the last few weeks or so. Now I'm confused; could you explain?

You might want to call the county clerk and ask if you can get the death certificate directly from them without waiting for the funeral home. You'll be needing it much sooner to get started on the probate process and other issues to take care of.
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Thanks for all this information. My sister states the paper bank had sign at top it just says agreement account and it list my sister as convenience signer. They have already frozen account and she have paid bills light water, gas, electric from her own (sister's) account. The little town is called Kermit, Texas population less than 8,000. This community knows us, our parents. Mom and dad moved there in 1950 and she lived there until she passed 8/12/23, dad until he passed 2003. We have dad death certificate and funeral home informed us it will take 4-6 weeks to get Mom death certificate.
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Sorry, I skipped right over having to get Letters Testamentary, I defer to GA in all things pertaining to the legal process.
I am only speaking from second hand experience as I have personally not had to act as executor. Plus coming from a small town where the bank knows your family probably allowed us to skip over some details.
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I see I missed a few points, for which I apologize. But Army and CWillie also have good and reliable advice, so add that to your list of things to do.

And I had completely forgotten about needing copies of the Death Certificate, which are usually obtained for the family by the funeral home handling the funeral.

And good luck; I hope things work out for you and your family quickly and that the legal issues don't become a problem.
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Can I use some legal terms that would be helpful in sorting this out?

In Michigan someone named in a Will to handle the estate after death is known as a Personal Representative. I'm not familiar with other states, but generally someone with the same responsibility would be called an Executor (male) or Executrix (female). So your sister would be the Executrix of your mother's estate (unless other states have different terms for the person named in the Will to handle the estate).

After death, your sister needs to get what are called Letters Testamentary (LT) from the Probate Court for the county in which your mother lived. I will admit that because of the Trusts (which generally avoid Probate) that our family has had, I've never had to get LT, but I know others here are more familiar with the process and can help out on that issue.

The LT will need to be provided to banks where your mother had accounts, to investment companies if she had, for example, mutual funds or stocks and likely other institutions to verify that your sister has the authority to manage your mother's Estate.

This allows them to deal with you. Banks I don't think want to get involved in having to read a Will, verify your sister's ID, etc., to ensure that your sister is legitimately the person with whom they need to work.

I don't know what the "paper" is that you signed at the bank, so could you provide more detail on that? If it was a signature card identifying your sister as a joint signatory on your mother's account, she should still be able to access the account.

I think it would be very helpful to sit down with a bank rep and ask specifically what "paper" you signed, and if an LT would solve the issue for them so the account isn't frozen. If not, find out specifically WHY the account was frozen.

You don't need an attorney unless other problems exist that haven't been addressed here. It's common for people to say "get a lawyer" rather than get involved or try to work things out. But a banker should be able to tell you what the issue is with the frozen assets.

The fact that the siblings are in agreement is wonderful, and will make it a lot easier to settle the estate, but that's really not the issue, which is that institutions like banks need proof other than a family's "say so" that someone is in fact the Executrix.

It wouldn't hurt to ask the Probate Court when you go to get the Letters if they have a pamphlet or guidelines or explanation of what else you need to do.

Perhaps you could let us know after you've gotten the Letters - hopefully everything will begin to fall in place then.
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Being a cosigner is not the same as having a joint account, it just gave you access while she was alive.The bank needs to see a death certificate and the Will naming the executor before they can unlock the accounts. The assets will then be transferred to an estate account and bills will be paid from that.
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If your sister is a cosigner and not joint on account then it is considered a convenient account and must now go through probate. Once the court approves your sister as executor of the estate, she will be able to access that account.
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