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Probate: solicitor's access to bank statements

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  • Probate: solicitor's access to bank statements

    We are advised that after a person has died one of the first actions to take is to notify the deceased's bank so his account is frozen. Would the solicitor handling the estate need to, or be able to, gain access to statements (by application to the bank, of course)?

    Back in 2006 I had power of attorney for my father and after his death made a note of his recent transactions before contacting his bank. I can't recall his solicitor doing that, though obviously she obtained confirmation of the closing balance. (I was particularly interested to see if a cheque for a tradesman that he'd recently signed had been processed.)
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  • #2
    My research tells me that a Personal Representative should "initially check the previous three years’ bank statements which will be a good indication of the gifting history of the deceased. If there are any withdrawals or transfers which seem unusual in the amount or regularity, then a review of the bank statements for the full seven years is advisable."

    I've just checked through my statements since late 2013 and have had to scratch my head about some of the transactions. Early on I was still writing cheques for large amounts, but there's no indication as to who the payees were.What action would/could the Personal Representative take if (s)he wasn't sure about something?


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    • #3
      You may be able to get copies of the cheques from the bank. I expect they will charge. If you know when the cheque for the trades, was written you could cross reference it to the statement.

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      • #4
        I guess that it depends on how conscientious the Personal Representative is. I've seen suggestions elsewhere that the PR should check back through three years of statements for entries that might relate to loans and gifts and that if the former are detected go back seven or even fourteen years. Fourteen years!

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        • #5
          I have every bank statement going back twenty years.

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