If both spouses are on a joint account and one of them dies, does the other spouse have access to the account?

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If both spouses are on a joint account and one of them dies, does the other spouse have access to the account?

Or does something need to be done prior to the person’s death so that the surviving spouse doesn’t have problems accessing the account?

Asked on March 1, 2012 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are joint holders on an account, you both have access to that account and it should not have to go through the process of probate as it would be technically exempt from it. Since you are both on the account, you may simply have to have the person's name removed after you present the death certificate to the entity who holds the account.


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