Bay Minette, AL asked in Banking for Alabama

Q: who gets the money in a bank account on joint accounts when one of the persons on the account dies?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mr. James Parrish Coleman
Mr. James Parrish Coleman
  • Business Law Lawyer
  • Robertsdale, AL

A: This depends on what the signature card at the bank says. Most of the time, the signature card on a joint account will say that the parties signing on the account are joint tenants with a right of surviorship, but not always. A person could be merely an additional signatory on an account with no ownership. Look at the bank document. However, most of the time the document at the bank will show that the two signatories are joint owners. Then, the balance legally belongs to the surviving signatory. BUT -- the estate of the dead person may make a claim against the money and the survivor arguing that in fairness -- equity -- that the money belonged only to the dead person. That sparks a lawsuit. Job one, look at the bank document.

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