Provincetown, MA asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Probate and Securities Law for Massachusetts

Q: All bank accounts have both me and painters SS # on it. How does it get split on ones death with a will?

So all our bank accounts have both my SS # on it and my partners. ON my money and bank account, my name is first with my SS # and then my partners name is on it with partners SS # on it. We each have access to accounts and either one can take money out. They are owned jointly. But we each know that who's ever name is 1st, that is that persons money

Upon one of our deaths, Our will's states 50% goes to living person, and 50% goes to that persons heirs which are listed on wills, not bank accounts. Same with partners will.

QUESTION is: if all accounts have both names, and we know that who ever's first name is listed is that persons assets , DOES the living person have authority to have all the money in bank account because it is jointly owned? WHAT obligation do they have to say which one was intended to be split to heirs upon death?

1 Lawyer Answer
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Woburn, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: Generally the survivor becomes the owner of the account and it is not part of the probate estate which is governed by the Will, but you should consider clarifying that this is the case in your Will by so stating that the account is not intended to be divided as part of the estate but is a survivorship joint account.

John Espinosa agrees with this answer

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