If I was on a joint checking account with my mother when she passed, is my brother now entitled to any of it?

The estate attorney said legally that money was mine. Now that the estate has settled, my brother is saying that everything that was hers should have been split evenly at the moment she passed. I used that money for some of her final bills and, with her prior permission, for some personal things as I was her caregiver. We had a third party executor to handle the estate and she is now saying that I “stole” the money, even though I went with her and closed the account and she took the remaining $2000 dollars. Am I liable for this money and to pay half of it to my brother?

Asked on October 30, 2015 under Estate Planning, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you  are not liable. With a joint checking account, on the death of one account holder, the contents of the account become the sole property of the other account holder. They do not become the property of the estate and are not subject to distribution because they were already your property, as joint account holder.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.