Since I’m beneficiary on stocks, if my husband dies will it go to me, our or his kids?

My husband has cancer with 6 months to live. His kids hadn’t been around but now that he is sick they call and come by sometimes. They think that they are going to take our joint bank account and his stocks. Will they get everything? How can I protect myself?

Asked on June 1, 2019 under Estate Planning, Rhode Island

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

While you should consult in person with an attorney to be sure, since the lawyer can check the exact paperwork, details, etc., as a general matter:
1) A joint bank account becomes the property of the surviving account holder when one account holder dies--it does not go through probate, and other heirs or beneficiaries do not have a chance to, and will not, inherit from it.
2) If someone is specifically designated as the beneficiary on stocks or an investment account, it also goes directly to them when the owner passes away, does not go through probate, and is not inherited by anyone other than the beneficiary.


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