West Islip, NY asked in Estate Planning and Banking for South Carolina

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 (Family Trust Federal Credit Union),where she used to live. I would just like the statement that includes all the dates since her death on January 11, 2023. She did not get paper statements. The account was not frozen until I found out I was a beneficiary by calling them and asking on Feb3rd or 4th. The executor had only alluded that my name might be on the account and did not inform me in a timely manner or report her death. Thank you for your help.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: As the beneficiary of your sister's POD bank account, you may have the right to obtain copies of the bank statements. However, the bank may have policies in place that require the executor of the estate to request the statements on behalf of the beneficiaries. You should contact the bank directly and ask about their policies and procedures for releasing statements to beneficiaries. If they require the executor to request the statements, you may need to work with the executor to obtain the information you need. It's also a good idea to review your sister's will and any other estate planning documents to see if there are any specific instructions regarding the distribution of assets.

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