If a Will states that deposit accounts go to the estate but theaccounts have an individual listed as beneficiary, which controls?

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If a Will states that deposit accounts go to the estate but theaccounts have an individual listed as beneficiary, which controls?

What supersedes – the Will or the beneficiary. The beneficiary was put on after the Will was written and notarized.

Asked on August 18, 2011 North Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A will in all states speaks at death of the person who signed the document. The bank accounts and the designated owners have a date before the death of the person who signed the will mentioning these deposit accounts. Presumably these bank accounts are held in the name of the person who passed away and others as joint tenants. If so, by operation of law, the surviving person on the joint bank account owns the entirety of the account regardless of what the will says.

If the bank accounts are not in joint tenancy, but names others as owners who survived the person who died, the surviving people take their percenatge of ownership from the bank account with the estate of the deceased person having the balance.

Good question


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