Q: If I die with out a Will what happens to my wife?
Does she have access to my bank account or is it frozen.
A: When a person passes without a will or other document that passes property upon death, the property passes through intestacy. That means it is governed by operation of law. A spouse will receive a portion of the property left behind in the estate. The amount of the property the spouse receives depends upon whether there are others that are in a familial relationship with the deceased, i.e., parents, children of both spouses, children of just one spouse, etc.
Regarding the bank account, it depends on whose names are on the account. There are several options to pass amounts in a bank account to a spouse. Getting a will and dealing with the money in a bank account can be handled fairly easily by an estate planning attorney. In fact, a basic will, without an entire estate package, will not cost too much and it will put your mind at rest. The attorney can also assist you with what to do with bank accounts, life insurance policies, and other similar property or proceeds.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.