Q: Can I use an Affidavit of Heirship at Wells Fargo to close my deceased mother's checking account?
I am trying to avoid probate since my mother's assets total $3000. After three phone calls to Wells Fargo estate department, they say that I need either a Order/Judgment of Heirship, or an Order Admitting the will to Muniment. The probate clerk in Texas said that if I file the Affidavit of Heirship with the court, it will not be an "order", and that Wells Fargo is pushing me to probate.
Within the last year, we probated an estate for exactly that reason: Wells Fargo will not release funds on deposit in their bank without an order from the probate court.
You should contact a probate lawyer in or near the county where your mother lived at the time of her death. Depending on whether she had a will, where her executor resides, whether she had any creditors when she died, and possibly other factors which may not even be known to you yet, it may not be cost-effective if her assets do indeed only total $3000.
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