Houston, TX asked in Estate Planning for Virginia

Q: Brother is exec of my mom’s will. He Submitted inventory for probate court in VA. He is On her joint savings account

The account was Her money, his name on it mainly to help her when she was ill. Account =$40,000. Will this money be included in the estate to be distributed to her children? Does he have ability to claim this as his own? Thank you.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr.
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Glen Allen, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: There is no clear answer to your question without knowing additional facts.

Under Virginia Code Section 64.2-620, certain transfers upon death accounts are nontestamentary, meaning they are not part of the probate estate and pass outside the will. This includes payable on death (POD) bank accounts or a joint bank account with a right of survivorship. Under Virginia Code Section 6.2-608 money in a joint account belongs to the survivor unless there is clear and convincing evidence of a contrary intent. An express provision of survivorship or a payable on death provision cannot be altered by a will. There are different rules for trust accounts. Under Virginia Code Section 6.2-611, a multiple party, suvivorship or POD account may nevertheless be liable for debts, taxes and expenses of estate administration in certain instances. The standard form CC-1670 for a fiduciary inventory has a section for multiple party financial interests, which are not taxed as party of the probate estate, because of these complications.

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