West Islip, NY asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Banking and Probate for New York

Q: I am the beneficiary on my deceased sister’s POD bank account. Do I have the right to get a copy of bank statements?

The bank said only the executor of the estate can get it. Aren’t beneficiary accounts outside the realm of the estate and the executor? My sister lived in Arizona when she passed. I live in NY. The bank account is in South Carolina (where she used to live) The executor of the estate, a friend in Arizona, is also the beneficiary on the deed to my sisters house in Arizona. Because I was not informed in a timely manner that I was the beneficiary on this account the account remained open for almost a month after my sisters death and an automatic withdrawal was made to make a monthly mortgage payment after my sister had passed. Do I have a legal right to be reimbursed for the mortgage payment from the executor because she is the new owner of the home? Or could I expect reimbursement from the estate? Do I become the legal owner of the account upon death or is it only once the death is reported to the bank? Do I have any recourse to get that money returned to me?

1 Lawyer Answer
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay
  • Probate Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Questions about Estate matters are controlled by the law of the State where the decedent resided at the time of death. Therefore, although you may live in New York, your question is better directed to attorneys practicing in the State of your late sister's residence.

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