My mother passed away this past February. It was unexpected and the only will that she left was one from years ago when my sister and I were kids. It named my grandparents (both of whom died before my mother) as executors of the estate and said that, in the event that something were to happen to her, they would get custody of my sister and myself. That’s how old the will is (we’re both in our 40s now). To my (and my sister’s) knowledge, there is no more recent will.
My mother was not very rich, but she did have a bank account at a major bank. I don’t know how much was in her account, but I would be shocked if it were over $1000. For all I know, it could be $50. (It should be at least that much, since I have an uncashed birthday check from her).
I went into the bank the other day with a copy of my mother’s death certificate and my birth certificate (showing that I am her son). In short, I was told by the bank that there was nothing they could do for me. My mother did not name a beneficiary on the account. They told me that I would have to go to probate court to get the money. I asked them to at least let me know how much it is so that I could make a judgement call if it’s even worth going to probate court for such a small sum – and they refused.
So, what are my options now? The cost of a probate attorney would probably be more than the amount in the account (although they won’t tell me, so who knows?). Are there any other options here? Or is it simply lost, to sit in the bank’s accounts forever?
The state, if it matters, is New York.
Thank you in advance,