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#1648281 - 01/09/12 10:02 PM Deceased Customer's Mother Wants Funds
Ginlyn, CRCM Offline
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Ginlyn, CRCM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 300
Oklahoma
Adult customer is sole owner of a savings account - no signers. Passed away November 2011. Bank received an Affidavit from his mother stating that she is "the surviving parent of John Doe and all property owned by John Doe passed to me as his surviving parent." The amount is only $285. However, we found his obit and it listed two college-aged children. Decedent's mother claims the children don't want the money. I asked her for an Indemnity Agreement in case the heirs change their mind. She wants to know if she can have them sign something that says they do not want the money and have it notarized in lieu of an Indemnity Agreement. This is an Oklahoma bank.

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#1648322 - 01/09/12 11:36 PM Re: Deceased Customer's Mother Wants Funds Ginlyn, CRCM
RayLynch Offline
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RayLynch
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Posts: 544
Even though only $285 is involved, I suggest you consult with your bank counsel. States have laws on how the "successors" to a decedent's property can take possession of such property without the need of a formal probate proceeding provide the amount in question does not exceed a certain amount and the "successors" execute certain documents (often called a Small Estate Affidavit).

If persons who are entitled to receive money from a decedent decide not to take it so someone else can inherit, they usually need to execute a Disclaimer. The required contents of a Disclaimer and how it should be executed are also controlled by state law.

The decedent's mother has already executed a document which contains incorrect information. Why rely on her word a second time? If the sons later object to their grandmother getting the money you will probably spend more than $285 in time (and possible legal fees) to fix the problem. Why not find out how to do it the right way under Oklahoma law so you know what to do in case this situation arises again for your institution.

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#1648364 - 01/10/12 01:33 PM Re: Deceased Customer's Mother Wants Funds RayLynch
Ginlyn, CRCM Offline
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Ginlyn, CRCM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 300
Oklahoma
Thank you for the reply and your analysis of the situation.

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#1648417 - 01/10/12 02:32 PM Re: Deceased Customer's Mother Wants Funds Ginlyn, CRCM
John Burnett Offline
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John Burnett
Joined: Oct 2000
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Cape Cod
Oklahoma Statutes Title 6, Section 906.
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#1648424 - 01/10/12 02:53 PM Re: Deceased Customer's Mother Wants Funds John Burnett
Ginlyn, CRCM Offline
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Ginlyn, CRCM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 300
Oklahoma
Thanks for the cite, John.

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#1648466 - 01/10/12 03:29 PM Re: Deceased Customer's Mother Wants Funds Ginlyn, CRCM
Matt_B Offline
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Matt_B
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Posts: 1,648
A CU, Where Regs Don't Apply
College-age kids not wanting money? Sounds fishy to me just based on that!
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#1649013 - 01/10/12 09:49 PM Re: Deceased Customer's Mother Wants Funds Ginlyn, CRCM
Compli(cated) Offline
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Wisconsin
At least in Wisconsin, a similar Affidavit can be used, but the person receiving the money is not necessarily taking it for themselves. They are just a person who is stepping up to wind down the decedent's final affairs, much like a Personal Representative (Executor of Estate) for an estate that is probated.

Otherwiser, funds from estates that do not need to be probated would be a nightmare to distribute, exactly because of the situation you are describing - a bank simply cannot know whether there are other heirs or people otherwise entitled to the funds.
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#1649414 - 01/11/12 04:51 PM Re: Deceased Customer's Mother Wants Funds Ginlyn, CRCM
HappyGilmore Offline
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Pulling people out of the ditc...
if it's $285 and the mom is that hot for the money, the deceased persons kids probably don't want to hassle with the mom/grandma...sounds like a winner to me
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#1650044 - 01/12/12 04:03 PM Re: Deceased Customer's Mother Wants Funds HappyGilmore
Ginlyn, CRCM Offline
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Ginlyn, CRCM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 300
Oklahoma
Thanks, everyone, for your input. This is something we have never had to address -- and I hope we never have to again. More than likely, we will send the funds to the mother as she presented a notarized Affidavit that was prepared with the assistance of an Oklahoma City attorney. The attorney also sent a letter with the interpretation of the Oklahoma law that he used. All for $285!!

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#1650228 - 01/12/12 06:07 PM Re: Deceased Customer's Mother Wants Funds Ginlyn, CRCM
Bob The Banker Offline
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Bob The Banker
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 958
Originally Posted By: Ginlyn, CRCM
Thanks, everyone, for your input. This is something we have never had to address -- and I hope we never have to again. More than likely, we will send the funds to the mother as she presented a notarized Affidavit that was prepared with the assistance of an Oklahoma City attorney. The attorney also sent a letter with the interpretation of the Oklahoma law that he used. All for $285!!

For $285 - AT YOUR BANK. I am sure there are plenty of other affairs elsewhere he is assisting with and alot more money.
Last edited by Bob The Banker; 01/12/12 06:07 PM.
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#1650326 - 01/12/12 07:33 PM Re: Deceased Customer's Mother Wants Funds Ginlyn, CRCM
girlsrope2 Offline
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girlsrope2
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 114
Land of Capitalism
I would have asked for Letters of Testamentary or other court verified document indicating that mother is legal recipient of funds. Worst case scenario if we chose to implore the method of using an Heirship Affidavit, I would have required all heirs reflected in the obituary to sign and acknowledge their relationship to the deceased and then made check for $285 to all parties.
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#1650342 - 01/12/12 08:00 PM Re: Deceased Customer's Mother Wants Funds Compli(cated)
BetsyS Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 468
As bankers, we shouldn't be so quick to judge. Our family now finds ourselves in a similar situation with my sister's estate. My mother has been financially assisting her for years, and is wrapping up her final affairs for my nephew. Yes, we did see an attorney to assist with the affidavits;there were several. Besides a few nominal accounts at different financial institutions, there is also a car to dispose of and bills which will need to be settled, not to mention closing out her apartment. When it's all said and done, the amount of money paid out will far exceed any assets my mother has claimed. My nephew is very grateful.
Last edited by BetsyS; 01/12/12 08:00 PM.
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