Does a will have to be probated if all assets are in joint accounts?

My mother recently passed and I am executrix. Her assets include a checking account (that I am on and I have been paying her medical and other bills from) and a money market account held by mom with my brother jointly. Total value, approx. $100,000. She has a Will (leaving all to myself and 3 brothers equally) but I would prefer not to probate, unless it is legally mandatory. My brothers and I are all in agreement re: equal distribution. It is very straight forward with no objections.

Asked on December 12, 2011 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If all assets of your late mother were held in joint tenancy accounts with the right of survivorship, then there would be no need to probate her Will and her assets in that by operation of law, all items held in a joint tenancy go to the suvrivors designated in the accounts, real property or other assets.

However, if not all assets are in a joint tenancy account or designated as being held in joint tenancy, there will need to be a probate based upon what you have written as to these particular assets.


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