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I need interpretation of Michigan Law 487.411 - 487.419 - when

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I need interpretation of Michigan Law 487.411 - 487.419 - when there are two or more people on a joint bank account, is the account supposed to become a part of the estate or do the joint owners own the money??

RayAnswers :

Thanks for your question and good evening.A joint account is a contractual agreement here in Michigan.As such it depends on how the account forms are completed.

RayAnswers :

If you look at 487.715 above it shows you the blank form that was completed when the account is set up.It sets out who gets funds in the event of th death of one of the joint account owners.

RayAnswers :

It solely depends on the terms of the account.

RayAnswers :

If the deceased person has an interest in the funds according to the terms it would pass to their heirs through Michigan probate either under the terms of their will or under laws of intestacy(no will)

Customer:

I don't believe this form was completed. Just a sign up sheet at the bank naming joint ownership?

RayAnswers :

The statute requires this to be completed. In the even it cannot be located you would list it on the inventory of the probate and ask the court to decide what interest the deceased had.

RayAnswers :

Anytime there is dispute the probate court may have to decide what share the person had.It is possible they decide to split a joint accoutn down the middle unless one party can show all the funds were one persons.

RayAnswers :

You certainly would want to contact the bank here and ask about the terms of the account that the law required them to complete.

RayAnswers :

The purpose of the form is to avoid such problems as it is inevitable that one party outlives the other.

RayAnswers :

The probate court would have to resolve it.

Customer:

I understand. It will be going to the probate for the judge to make a determination. I did get the forms from the bank and don't believe this was filled out, but will look at it again. Thank you.

RayAnswers :

The court can always resolve this.

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