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


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.

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 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.