If a co-owner of a checking account dies, what happens to the money?

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If a co-owner of a checking account dies, what happens to the money?

There are 3 people are listed on a checking account.; 1 of them has died. How is the money distributed if the account has “survivor” listed besides  names?

Asked on April 30, 2011 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In the case of joint account holders holding title as "joint tenants with rights of survivorship" (JTWROS), upon the death of 1 of the parties to the account, the surviving party (or parties) become the sole owner(s); so in your case the 2 remaining account holders would each be entitled to  a 1/2 share of the funds in the account   The general rule is that the survivor(s) will be able to withdraw the funds in the account by giving the bank a death certificate.  There may or may not be the need to provide anything from the probate court (it may depend on the surviving joint tenants are related to the deceased account holder). At any rate there are state specific procedures to follow, so you should contact the institution in which the account is being held in. It can best instruct you as to the process for withdrawing the funds.


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