Bank Accounts

We have found it beneficial for bank accounts to be held jointly prior to death.  Accounts of this nature will remain accessible at all times, rather than waiting for appropriate legal authorizations.  These authorizations may take an extended period of time.

In some regions, bank accounts held solely in the deceased's name are automatically frozen after a death.  To avoid any complications, the bank should be notified immediately, and you should find out the procedures for releasing these funds, and how to set up a new account for funds received after the death.  

In New York State, Powers of Attorney (POA) cease immediately upon death.  Due to this, a Power of Attorney will no longer have access to funds held solely by the deceased.

To take a name off a joint bank account, banks require a Certified Copy of a Death Certificate.  If the deceased had a safety deposit box in a bank, the contents can be sealed after death and a Certified Copy of a Death Certificate will be required to gain access to the contents.