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  • Create Date February 28, 2024
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Estate Account Opening Form

Here’s what you need to know about estate accounts, or accounts that are set up to administer the finances of a person who has died.

Your first questions may be, “Why do we even need an estate account?” And “Can’t we just use a power of attorney or open a joint account?” In truth, an estate account is essential to the efficient, transparent settlement of an estate.

First, a power of attorney, which gives decision-making authority to a proxy, becomes invalid once a person dies. Gone with it is signing authority. And even if a spouse, child or custodian has opened a joint account prior to the decedent’s death, which affords joint signing authority, other beneficiaries are excluded but are still entitled to an impartial accounting of all assets.

The best way to do this is to transfer everything to an estate account that is managed by an executor who has a fiduciary duty to settle the estate fairly and according to the decedent’s wishes.