Someone on Avvo recently asked: "My Father passed away on AUG 19, 2012 he has a will and left his daughter which is me as the executor of his estate. I went to close his bank account out and they said the will was out date and there's no seal. The date on the will is may 5,1994... please tell me what to do."
Answer from Wood County, Ohio Probate Attorney Staten Middleton: "I agree with what has already been said and would like to add some additional thoughts. In some cases it may be wise to leave the account open. This would allow you to deposit checks made payable to your father. This may be a good idea in certain circumstances. Otherwise, you will need some form of probate administration simply to cash a check.
Also, the bank may be able to confirm whether the account has a joint owner or pay on death beneficiary. In that event, all you need is the death certificate and drivers license for the joint owner or beneficiary."