What happens to money from a deceased family members bank account?

You should check at the bank to see if there was a beneficiary listed in the account. If so, the funds can be released if that person has proper proof of identification and a death certificate.

Generally, and if no beneficiary was listed, the bank will require the person who wants to close the account to have proof of appointment as the estate representative from the probate court. A person's estate is responsible for paying the decedent's debts. The filing of a probate will notify creditors of the death and provide the opportunity to make a claim. Appointment by a probate court provides proof that the account owner has died and that the person seeking to close the account has the legal right to do so.