Augusta, GA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia

Q: Who is the owner of a bank account of an intestate person that has added the daughter to sign checks?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Lawrenceville, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: As your question is worded, it is the estate. As is probably the case, it is the daughter. Most banks add the new signer on as an account owner. Therefore, if she is an account owner, the money is hers. If however, the bank truly added her as having signatory power, but not ownership, then the estate is still the owner.

If someone has become owner, and you believe the true intent of the owner was simply to add the daughter for convenience of signing checks, you can bring a lawsuit against the daughter for return of the money. These are quite expensive lawsuits. The last one I did cost my client almost $50,000.

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