If a person dies and has a family member on their bank account, if all of the money is the deceased’s does it legally becomes the family member’s?

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If a person dies and has a family member on their bank account, if all of the money is the deceased’s does it legally becomes the family member’s?

My grandmother passed away and her sister was on her account. None of the sister’s money ever went in the account but she says it legally became hers. She spent it. I would like to know if that was legal?

Asked on October 20, 2011 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In order to answer your question, I need to know how the names on the bank account naming your grandmother and sister as owners was written. If the bank account was just with their names and not as joint tenants with the right of survivorship, then one half of the amount of the bank account would be your sister's calculated at the time of your grandmother's passing. The other half goes into your grandmother's estate.

If the bank account was in both of their names as joint tenants, your sister gets the full amount of the bank account.

If the bank account listed your sister as trustee on the bank account, she gets none of the money. It goes into your grandmother's estate.


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