If bank accounts are joint but deceased states in her will that all assets are to be divided equally among surviving children, does that have to be honored?

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If bank accounts are joint but deceased states in her will that all assets are to be divided equally among surviving children, does that have to be honored?

My brother was joint on our mother’s bank accounts,her will states that after expenses are paid, all remaining funds are to be divided equally between her 5 surviving children. She passed away 11 months ag, and he says that since the accounts were joint, all funds revert to him.

Asked on January 21, 2017 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that your brother is right. The fact is that not all assets of a deceased person become a part of their estate. Anything that lists a beneficary (i.e. 401k, IRA, life insurance proceeds, etc.) and any jointly held accounts/property, are examples. Accordingly, only the assets that are actually in your mother's estate are to be divided as per the terms of her Will. 


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