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John Elder
John Elder, Estate & Elder Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience:  Over 14 years experience in Medicaid, Estates, Trust.
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Is a joint bank account part of the estate or does it belong

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Is a joint bank account part of the estate or does it belong to the surviving owner?
Welcome! Thank you for your question.

So long as the account is labeled "joint with right of survivorship" then it is not part of the estate but passes automatically to the surviving owner at the death of the other owner.

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John Elder, Estate & Elder Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience: Over 14 years experience in Medicaid, Estates, Trust.
John Elder and 4 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good evening. A joint account vests automatically in the surviving owner upon the death of the first owner. The only exception, if the term "right of survivorship" is not used, would be that someone could contest that the joint account was merely set up for convenience and the decedent did not intend for the joint owner to get the entire account at death. This does not happen in the case of spouses, but can happen where there is an elderly person and one child is added to the account to assist the elderly person to pay his/her bills. In that event, if other children can show by clear and convincing evidence that the elderly person did not intend for the one child to get the entire account, the court can rule the right of survivorship should not apply.

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