If 2 people jointly own a savings account with another person who is now deceased, does the account become part of the estate or do the 2 survivors own it equally?

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If 2 people jointly own a savings account with another person who is now deceased, does the account become part of the estate or do the 2 survivors own it equally?

My mother and I owned the account with my late aunt.

Asked on June 16, 2015 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the account provided for "rights of survivorship", you and your mother become the sole owners of the account. This is because such a designation means that the account proceeds pass outside of probate. If the account does not specifically state survivorship rights, then it is presumed to be held as "tenants in common", which meanss that the deceased's owner's share it part of their estate; you and your mother do not own it.


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