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Why do I need a probate bank account?

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2023 | Estate Administration & Probate

Probate bank accounts, also known as estate checking accounts, are a way for executors in Florida to manage estate transactions. They’re not legally required. However, these accounts are a respected practice with many benefits for executors.

Why executors open an estate checking account

The probate process in Florida often involves many transactions. For example, executors must pay the estate’s debts and pay beneficiaries. Creating a probate bank account separates the pre-death and post-death transactions.

The estate checking account keeps the estate’s transactions in one place, creating a clean record of payments. For the executor, this also helps avoid suspicions about self-dealing or other negative activities.

Making payments is also easier. The executor can use the estate account to make payments on behalf of the estate, creating a simple record of relevant transactions. This makes doing taxes and managing the estate’s records easier for the executor in the long run.

Opening a probate bank account

Some of the first few steps of opening an estate checking account are requesting, obtaining and organizing the necessary documents. The executor will need to present the bank with a copy of the death certificate, a tax ID or EIN for the estate and a document proving they are the executor.

A probate bank account operates similarly to a personal checking account, but requirements vary from one bank to another. For instance, many checking accounts have a minimum deposit requirement or charge monthly service fees. It’s important to understand the terms before opening the account.

The estate checking account will remain in operation throughout the probate process. While a probate checking account isn’t a legal requirement, it’s beneficial for allowing executors to have one place to handle the estate’s incoming and outgoing funds.