Do joint owner bonds go through probate when one dies without a Will?

UPDATED: Aug 4, 2012

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Do joint owner bonds go through probate when one dies without a Will?

My mom and sister owned EE bonds together. The statues of ownership is (or). With mom as the first. However mom died without a signed will. She owned a house in her own name. I have zero interest in the bonds. We are spliting the estate. Does sis need to list them in the inventory for probate or is it safe to say she is free and clear as the owner of the bonds without the process of probate?

Asked on August 4, 2012 under Estate Planning, Iowa


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Just like a joint bank account, co ownership of savings bonds means if one party dies, the other co-owner becomes the new, sole owner.  The savings bonds pass directly avoiding probate becuase they are not part of the estate.  Just double check how they are worded.  Good luck.

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