If my late grandma had a bank account in her and her son’s name, does her son have a legal right to claim the balance of accounts?

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If my late grandma had a bank account in her and her son’s name, does her son have a legal right to claim the balance of accounts?

About 6 months before her death, her health started to fail. Then 4 months before her death, her son whom she lived with took her to the bank and transfered checking funds and all but a small amount from savings to his/her name. He has paid her final bills but has kept balance of money.

Asked on March 11, 2013 under Estate Planning, Minnesota

Answers:

Matthew Majeski / Majeski Law, LLC

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It sounds like she had set up a joint account with her son.  If  that is true, when she died the money in the account automatically becomes his.  It does not go through the probate process with the will.

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the son's name was on the bank account, the money belongs to him.  This is true even if grandma had a will that distributed the money to other people.  If grandma had no will, your state statute would say who recieves her assets.  However, holding any property (money or houses, etc) in joint names means the joint person owns the property at death and does not have to share it with anyone.


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