Hyde Park, NY asked in Estate Planning for New York

Q: Estates: Precedence of joint bank account survivor vs. addendum to will

My mother's estate has a few bank accounts, some bank accounts had joint ownership with any one of her 3 children. In a signed addendum to her will, she explained how to distribute the bank account assets between her 3 children (50%/25%/25%) "regardless of the name on the account." I believe for joint bank accounts, normally the surviving account holder automatically gets ownership of the account funds. But the will's addendum seems to say combine all of the bank assets and divide it up the way she specified, whether or not there were joint names on the account. Which has precedence?

Update: Any other answers? The 2 I got seem to contradict each other.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Barry Eran Janay
Barry Eran Janay
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Depends on whether the supplement to the will was valid, I would argue that it likely is if it is referenced to the will and incorporated into the will by reference. Speak to an estate planning attorney who should be able to give you more specific guidance. Please email me directly if you have further questions.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
Answered
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: The joint account status governs unless the estate moves to have accounts deemed convenience accounts.

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