Opening The Estate Account Takes Patience

By: Statewide Probate

A client recently wrote,

….Just opened the estate account. Merciful heavens, childbirth was easier. Such a lengthy detailed process that took over an hour.

Yes, depending on the bank or credit union, and the particular branch, and the experience of the employee opening the account, it can take a while for the personal representative to open the estate bank account. Opening any new account takes time, and face it, an estate checking account is not an every-day experience at most banks. So they have to check their rules and regulations, and study forms they don’t normally use, and maybe call the home office.

Plus, of course, they need you to bring in the certified copy of the Letters of Administration, the estate EIN (tax ID number) issued by the IRS, and usually a certified death certificate. So bring those, plus patience.

And if you get a bank officer who tries to talk you into designating a beneficiary for the estate account, just say “No.” It’s a fiduciary account, and in the unlikely event that a personal representative dies or becomes incapacitated before the account is closed, the probate court has to name a successor personal  Representative. You don’t get to name that person; the court must. So the account cannot have a designation of beneficiary.

If you have additional questions regarding opening the estate account, please do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced Florida Probate and Estate Attorneys. Call our office at (850) 346-7926 or fill out our convenient online contact form.