As executor of my mother’s estate, can I avoid probate if the only assets is a checking account of which I am a co-signer of?

The only assets my mother had her home was sold long before her passing was a

checking account. I am a co-signer on that account and handled all her bills. She

left a Will, dividing her assets between her 3 children. All debts have been paid.

Can I simply file the Will and divide the funds up as specified in it?

Asked on September 26, 2018 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  So banks view co-signers and co-owners of bank accounts differently. Co-signers don't generally have the right to make withdrawls. They are just guarantors. Are you sure that is what you are?  I would double check with the bank.  If you do not have the right to make withdrawls then you would have to probate the account but if the account is under $50,000 then you can use a small estate affidavit.  Good luck. 

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