If a sibling’s name is on their deceased mother’s bank account, is it their or the estate’s?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If a sibling’s name is on their deceased mother’s bank account, is it their or the estate’s?

My brother’s name was added to my mothers bank account years ago. She is recently deceased. Are the accounts now part of the estate or can he claim as his own?

Asked on July 1, 2019 under Estate Planning, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If he was not merely a signatory to the account (someone given the power to write checks from the account) but was actually on a joint account with your mother as one of the joint account holders, then on her death, the account and the money on it became his. If he was not one of the account holders (it was not a joint account) but only had check-writing priviliges, then on her death, the money became part of her estate.

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