If I have been named as the successor on a decedent’s bank account, are these funds free and clear of creditor’s claims?

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If I have been named as the successor on a decedent’s bank account, are these funds free and clear of creditor’s claims?

No Will; no estate except for 6K in bank account (so no probate required in my state) .I’m named on bank account card as co-owner/successor. I present my documentation and death certificate to bank, they issue a check for balance in account and close account. Can creditors come after these funds after they’ve been transferred to me?

Asked on December 19, 2011 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

Michael Duffy / Duffy Law, LLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If that was a joint bank account with right of survivorship and the other account holder is deceased, the funds are now yours. It would depend on how and when the account was created (or you named as a joint account holder) and when the funds were desposited as to what claim estate creditors might have on them. If it was done properly, the account would not be considered part of the decedent's estate, creditors would have no claim and the funds would be yours. You should consult an estate attorney to ensure the funds qualify and you are entitled to take them free and clear.


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