Joint Owner Bank Account

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Joint Owner Bank Account

I discovered I am a joint owner on my
mother’s checking account. She died Feb.
2017. On the date if death she had
20,000. In the account, it has since
increased to 45,000. How much of the
funds am I entitled to as the surviving
Joint Owner?

Asked on May 19, 2018 under Estate Planning, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Most bank accounts held jointly come with what's known as a "right of survivorship." This means that on the death of one of the owners, the account and the money in it does not go through probate  or become part of the deceased's estate, but rather instantly and automatically (on provision of proof of death--i.e. a death certificate--to the bank) becomes the sole property of the surviving owner(s). You should be be entitled to all the funds.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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