Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
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.
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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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. :)