Q: As executor of an estate, could a bank request other documents besides the death certificate and letter of testementary
I am my mothers executor. I was able to close all her accounts with only the letter of testementary and death cert. I went to a small bank to take possession of her safe deposit box and the bank approved my documents in person.
The next day they called me and said I only had an oath. I informed then the oath was part of the testementary. She said she would check and call back.
The day after the bank calls back and said I need a letter of appointment. I told her that's for an executor not in the will, and the testementary is the same. Again she said she would call back.
The 3rd call they said that they needed the oath, which I told them they said I had and showed them already. Again she said she would check with her manager.
The 4th call the bank rep said i need an order of entry. I said entry of what? I need a document name. She could not provide one.
Is this just incompetence of the bank? I have a valid letter of testementary and death cert.
A: An attorney would need to review your documents to see if they are valid and sufficient for this purpose. If they are, the attorney could write a letter to the bank explaining why they must honor it. In the worse case scenario the attorney could help you get an order from the court compelling the bank to turn over the funds. Hopefully this will not be necessary.
And, yes, sometimes bank staff can be incompetent. There might be a lot of turnover at that bank and nobody there has encountered a deceased customer before. There is a first time for everyone, and you are in the unlucky position of being the one who has to educate them. Estate planning and probate attorneys run into this often.
A: Court issued Certified Letters Testamentary 'should' be all you need. It does appear that the staff at the bank are not well versed in this area, which can be extremely frustrating. The 'notice of entry' they are asking for may just be the Notice of Entry of Order which would have been filed following the Judge issuing the Order naming you Executor. You should have a copy of the Notice of Entry of Order, with Order attached. Give that a try first, then failing that, you may need legal help. Good luck!
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