If a joint bank account an estate asset?

I am the power of attorney and caregiver of my mom’s Will. The only assets that she has is a joint account with me. My brother does not help much caring for her but he wants half when she dies. Is he legally obligated to get half?

Asked on October 9, 2017 under Estate Planning, Maryland


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Not all of the assets of a deceased person become a part of their estate. Certain assets such as 401's, pension payouts, joint bank accounts, etc. pass outside of probate. This means that they go directly to the person listed to inherit upon death or the other joint account holder. Accordingly, you have full right to the money in the account; your brother has no claim.

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