barry l asked in Business & FinanceCredit · 6 months ago

Brother died a week ago with a little more than he needs in a Debit Card at a credit union.?

He didn't sign anything about what he wanted done with the money. Has 3 sons that he had no relationship with, they're next of kin. 2 don't want anything and live 2,000 miles away. He has no other assets, not even a car. The son trying to get him cremated has the account number and pin but can't find the card. The credit union won't release $900 to get him cremated. He owed hospital bills and rent. I'm a senior citizen with little income from Social Security, can't afford to pay it. Son has no money. I offered a few hundred $$ but it won't help. How can he get the $900 from the Credit Union to get his remains cremated and a death certificate?

6 Answers

Relevance
  • 6 months ago

    Since all states have different probate laws and you didn't mention the state you are in, it's hard to advise. Try contacting a local probate attorney to see if he can give you some free guidance.

    For example, here is how it's done in Michigan

    Even if the deceased person left some property that was owned in his or her name alone, formal probate may not be necessary. Michigan offers a simpler procedure for small estates. It’s available if:

    the value of the gross estate, after funeral and burial costs are paid, is less than $15,000, or

    the estate is large enough only to cover the expenses of the last illness and funeral, the family allowance, the homestead allowance, and some expenses.

    In either of these situations, the probate court can order the assets turned over to the surviving spouse or heirs. (Heirs, the people entitled to inherit under state law when there’s no will, are the closest relatives.)

    So check with your probate court or local attorney. I'm sure you can get this resolved.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 6 months ago

    The credit union will not release anything to anyone but the executor of or administrator for the brother's estate. If the brother did not leave a will naming an executor, the son can apply to the court that handles estates to be appointed administrator. Unfortunately, this can take many weeks, time you don't have. The son will have to ask whoever will do the cremation if they will go ahead and do it and be paid later. If not, the son will have to find out from the county how long the county will hold the body in climate-controlled storage. The county may even provide some financial assistance to those who can prove they have no money. But to repeat, the credit union will not release funds to anyone but the duly appointed executor or administrator, once they have their official papers from the court that give them the power to represent the estate.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 6 months ago

    He can't do it quickly enough to use the money for the cremation. If there isn't a will or some other document that says who should get it, then this is probably going to have to go through probate and be handled according to the intestate laws of the state where he lived. First, whatever he owed has to be paid; if it's more than $900, then all $900 has to go to whomever he owed; if he owed less than $900, then whatever he owed has to be paid in full, and only whatever is left after that can be used for the cremation.

    Normally, if a person isn't married, then whatever is left (after paying what he owed) is supposed to be split equally by all the children, so if some of them don't want anything, then they will have to sign paperwork disclaiming their rights to inherit. Or maybe it would be faster not to bother with that, and have equal amounts of the money distributed to each son, and then have them each contribute that money towards paying the cremation expenses. But, again, if he owed more than $900, then it's a moot point, because the credit union can't give any of the money to the son; it must go to paying what the father owed.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 6 months ago

    Since he didn't plan for this in any way....they will absolutely not release any money until the estate enters probate...whether through his will or just administered.

    Sorry, but the bank cannot just give the money out, regardless of the current need. To put it bluntly, when he passed, all assets and debts become a part of the estate...as though he no longer exists. That estate needs to be settled financially, just like a company or something similar. Debts get paid from assets and anything left goes to the shareholders, in this case his heirs.

    They cannot take his cash and stiff any creditors...that's the big issue here. You say just for cremation, but its very common for relatives to try and loot their deceased family member's bank account to avoid it going to pay their credit cards or whatever...so they simply lock the account.

    Now that the bank is aware, even with the PIN, that account is locked. Only the person assigned by the court (executor if a will, administrator if not) can access those funds when the time comes.

    Sorry, not trying to be heartless and very sorry for your loss...just trying to answer objectively.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 6 months ago

    Since your brother did no estate planning, there is no way to get the money without going through the proper legal channels.

    To cremate your brother before that, you/your nephew needs to figure out how to come up with the money or leave him for the government to cremate him.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Eva
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    You can't unless someone else's name was on the account. Papers have to be filed with the surrogate court and someone has to be named administrator of the estate, even though there's not much of an estate. It is that person's responsibility to gather all the assets and debts of the estate. Since he died without a will, the laws of your state will determine who gets any assets that remain after all debts are paid. The administrator will be able to access the funds in the bank account once they receive the "letter of administration" from the court. That person will need several copies of that and the death certificate in order to perform his/her duties.

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.