Tempe, AZ asked in Banking and Probate for Arizona

Q: My mom past away in may of 2017. I have a sister and brother that have not been involved in her life since 2001.

I have been the only one taken care of her we lived together for since 2010. She had no will. I can't close her bank account because my brother feels he's entitled to the money. Mom left a letter but didn't sign it stating the two of them were to get nothing that she had no son as far as she was concerned. 20 yrs he hasn't been around lives out of state. The bank froze the account cause he tried to filed an affidavit as I did but didn't have any info like I did. What do I have to do now?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: If your Mom was unmarried at the time of her death and had no will, her estate passes to her children in equal shares under Arizona law. Since the affidavit procedure did not work for you, the next step is to open a probate. I recommend speaking with a probate attorney to learn more about this procedure. You may be able to handle the probate without an attorney by using the forms on the court website but with the lack of family cooperation that you have experienced, I believe it would be best to hire an attorney to help you.

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