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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 37803
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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My mother has passed away. I am the executor of her will.

Customer Question

My mother has passed away. I am the executor of her will. She was living with her granddaughter. She put her on the checking account. Now the granddaughter has taken to money out of the bank and says I am not due a penny. What can I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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When you say "put her on the account" do you mean that she added her as just an authorized signer or that she actually added her to the account as a joint owner?

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Who are listed on the account as owners...mother and granddaughter?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Her account reads Her name with her granddaughters right under it. It doesn't say and or on her check.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok, then you are going to need to check with the bank to see if granddaughter is listed as a "joint owner" or not. If she is, then she would be correct that she would own the account and any assets in it. When there are two joint owners on a bank account, when one passes, their ownership interest extinguishes and the surviving owner becomes the sole owner of the account and anything in it.

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This is used as an estate planning technique to transfer assets without them having to go through probate.

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But if she was just a signer or authorized user, then that account would just go into her estate to be distributed with any other assets..

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So you need to contact the bank and ask them if this was a joint account or not.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I can't check with the bank today. They are closed for holiday.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok then check tomorrow. Since they are closed today, she couldn't do anything with the account anyway if she wasn't authorized to do so.

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Thanks

Barrister