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Richard
Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53986
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My Mother passed away last year, leaving an estate valued at

Customer Question

My Mother passed away last year, leaving an estate valued at more than 1 million dollars. In her will she specified that I, her daughter and RN caregiver for 8+ years as well as DPOA for health & finance and her appointed executress, should receive her portion of our home we purchased together, which has passed to me via right of survivorship, and the remainder of her estate be given to my three (3) siblings. My question is: Do I have any right to any of the cash in her joint savings and checking accounts she shares with me, a sum of approximately $30,000.00, to which they are beneficiaries of following her death? I find myself cash-poor and need to put our home up for sale due to me not being able to afford to live there, and need the money to get the house ready for sale. My siblings will each receive appx. $365,000.00 outside of this money but want more if they can get it. I have been told that my joint ownership of her checking and savings accounts trumps that of her will specifying my three siblings are to inherit that money. Is that true? I don't want to do anything wrong or immoral.
Sincerely, Conflicted
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 10 months ago.

Good morning. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

You are going to be entitled to the money in these accounts; they do not pass under the will. 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. These joint accounts you reference fall within the foregoing categories and thus automatically vest in your upon your mother's death.

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