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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    6

    Unhappy How Does an Heir Access Funds From a Bank Account

    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: Washington D.C.
    FACTS: Bank account held jointly by mother & father, both of whom are now deceased (mother passed 2011, father passed 2012). Bank accounts held solely in father's name have been turned into an estate account. I am the sole heir (daughter) and reside in the Midwest. I have both death certificates and Letters of Administration from the Superior Ct. of DC naming me personal representative. Since this account is in both parent' names, (and not subject to probate?), I am trying to get the bank, Capital One, to close the account and issue a check to me based on the original documents that I can send or fax to them.

    PROBLEM: Capital One does not have a branch office anywhere within a 150 miles or more of my residence. I have mobility problems, and have trouble getting around. Plus, its seems unfair that I have incur travel expenses to close the account. I've asked to talk to the legal department, to no avail. I've asked for an address to the legal department, nothing forthcoming. Customer service people are useless. What are my options? Do I need to hire an attorney? Any information that can help me would be much appreciated.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,025

    Default Re: Unable to Access Funds from Capital One-No Branch Offices in Sole Heir's Domicile

    . Bank accounts held solely in father's name have been turned into an estate account.

    Since this account is in both parent' names,
    which is it?


    I am trying to get the bank, Capital One, to close the account and issue a check to me
    do you mean you, the heir or you the PR?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Unable to Access Funds from Capital One-No Branch Offices in Sole Heir's Domicile

    JK: Sorry for the confusion. My father had accounts at other banks in his name only. Anything in his name only, I included as part of the estate, when I filed the papers with the probate court. I went to those Other banks with my Letters of Administration, etc. Those accounts were then turned into "The Estate of XXXXXX. On the other hand, the Capital One account is in both of my parents' names (e.g., John Doe OR Jane Doe). I am the sole heir and I have also been named PR. Regardless of which hat I'm wearing, I'm unable to do anything with the account or access any funds from that account without traveling to DC/MD from the Midwest (not cheap)!!!

    You said, <<I am not an attorney and any advice is not to be construed as legal advice. You might even want to ignore my advice. Actually, there are plenty of real attorneys that you might want to ignore as well.>>

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,025

    Default Re: Unable to Access Funds from Capital One-No Branch Offices in Sole Heir's Domicile

    Regardless of which hat I'm wearing, I'm unable to do anything with the account or access any funds from that account without traveling to DC/MD from the Midwest (not cheap)!!!
    You have no right to access the account when wearing the "heir" hat. The money belongs to the estate and the only party that has access to the funds is the PR or executor of the estate.

    As a PR, you do have lawful access to the account.

    what is their justification for demanding a personal appearance?


    Since this account is in both parent' names, (and not subject to probate?),
    why do you believe it may not be subject to probate?

    Is your mother's name on the account the source of difficulties? Has your mother's estate gone through any form of administration/probate?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    6

    Unhappy Re: Unable to Access Funds from Capital One-No Branch Offices in Sole Heir's Domicile

    JK:

    I am being given the run around, and I've not been given a straight answer regarding why I must appear in person. I've indicated to the people I've talked with that I can send the original documents that are required---did not get anywhere with that. I'm frustrated. I also can't get anyone higher than a Branch Manager to speak with me, and they have been useless.

    My mother died last July 2011. With few exceptions, Mother's accounts were POD to my father. My mother's "estate has never gone through any form of administration or probate. My father passed a few months ago. Both of my parents were debt-free at the time of their deaths. Do you think I have to file a petition for probate w/respect to mother's "estate?"'

    I thought that any assets held jointly passed to the surviving spouse, and then to the heir and not subject to probate (I may have read this somewhere in the DC guide to probate). If I'm mistaken, please let me know.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    497

    Default Re: Unable to Access Funds from Capital One-No Branch Offices in Sole Heir's Domicile

    I thought that any assets held jointly passed to the surviving spouse, and then to the heir and not subject to probate...
    Not just to the surviving spouse. But to the surviving co-owner.

    Sole ownership would have passed to your father upon your mother's death without the need for probate. But, unless your father then added a co-owner or added a pay on death beneficiary, the funds would be part of his probate estate.


    I noticed that earlier you said that you tried both to have the funds sent directly to you and to have the funds sent to you as the the executor of your father's probate estate. What is the branch manager saying in response to the request to have the funds sent to you as executor of the probate estate?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,025

    Default Re: Unable to Access Funds from Capital One-No Branch Offices in Sole Heir's Domicile

    whether the account passes to the spouse or co-owner of the account would depend on how the account was held. If it was held jointly with rights of survivorship or it was a POD account, then the money would become the sole property of your father upon your mother's death.

    Has the bank been informed of your mother's death? If not, they may believe the money now belongs to your mother.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Unable to Access Funds from Capital One-No Branch Offices in Sole Heir's Domicile

    Harry: Customer service, after much prodding, transfers me to a Branch Manager (Branch where account was probably set up). I again explain what I want as the Personal Representative of the Estate. After a lot of repetitious gobbledegook, the bottom line is that I must come into a branch office. Have requested Legal Department address and/or telephone number. Address given=another branch office. At this juncture, I'm thinking I need to get a lawyer involved? Any alternative suggestions anyone??

    - - - Updated - - -

    JK-- I don't believe my father notified the bank of mother's death. When father passed in August 2012, I notified the bank because I wanted the account frozen. I was informed that I could do nothing without the Letters of Administration. I've since informed them of the deaths of parents, but the account remains as it was.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,025

    Default Re: Unable to Access Funds from Capital One-No Branch Offices in Sole Heir's Domicile

    How did you inform them of your mother's death? Did you provide a death certificate?


    from another thread on this forum:


    http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41653


    Their General Counsel is:
    John Finneran, Rr.
    SVP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
    Capital One Financial Corp
    1680 Capital One Drive
    Mclean, VA 22102-3491

    (But he probably has nothing to do with whatever you want to resolve - that's almost certainly handled by somebody within the legal department.) The number for the headquarters is 703-720-1000. Ask for the legal department. You can also try 703-205-1105, which is listed on some old correspondence as a number for their legal department, but you may end up being misdirected.
    that is from 2008 but it's all I got.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Unable to Access Funds from Capital One-No Branch Offices in Sole Heir's Domicile

    JK-Thanks for the info. When I was in DC making funeral arrangements, I called one of Capital One's branch offices. I was told I could do nothing at all without the Court's Letters of Administration and the account would be handled thereafter. I could not even freeze the account. I believe that financial institution is a bit shady, because every single time I've called they claim there is no such account. When I tell them I have the bank statements (current ones) for the specific billing cycle, they miraculously find the account. I'm tired of dealing with these people.

    I am going to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and see if this can't be mediated somehow. If that does not work, I'll be forced to retain an attorney. I mean, what would happen if I was totally and permanently disabled?? Would the money simply dissipate? I am beyond done--I've got enough emotional stress due to both parents dying within a year of each other. So, I shall take it to the next level. I'll let you guys know the outcome of my BBB complaint.

    Thanks.

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