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Richard
Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53976
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My husbands aunts estate only consists of money in two

Customer Question

my husbands aunts estate only consists of money in two banks.
having been her legal guardian and Power of Attorney, my name is ***** ***** those accounts.
Do we need to do the full probate court thing or maybe it's more simple since it's only money!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you. Can you provide me just a bit more information? How much money is involved? And, were you on these accounts as a joint owner? Thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I believe I was joint owner and the total amount is just under $150,000.00
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for following up. If you were a joint owner, then you don't have to worry about probate at all. Certain assets pass outside probate and thus are not governed by the will and thus do not require probate. These include the following: i) joint brokerage and bank accounts which vest automatically in the surviving owner upon the death of one owner; ii) real property held as joint tenants or tenants by the entirety, which also vest automatically in the surviving owner upon the death of one owner; and iii) assets with designated beneficiaries other than the estate such as life insurance and retirement accounts. Your joint accounts fall under the foregoing and thus probate is not necessary. :)

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
nothing needs to be filed in court? I can just distribute the money according to her will?
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for following up. Actually, her will is not applicable. Because the account automatically vested in you at your death, it belongs to you. But, if you knew that the intent was that you were added as a joint owner for convenience and for the money to be distributed as set forth in her will, it would be the right thing to do to follow her wishes. :)

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