Decatur, AL asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama

Q: If you are on your single parents bank accounts in Alabama and they pass away, do you have control of their estate?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: Your statement of facts does not contain enough information to answer your question.

When you say you are "on" your parent's bank accounts, exactly what do you mean by "on"?

Are you a tenant in common? Joint tenant with right of survivorship? Attorney in fact?

What else did your parent own when he/she passed? Any tangible personal property such as furniture, collectibles, automobiles? Any investment accounts? Anything else at all other than the bank accounts?

You should repost your question with a lot more information. Or, even better, schedule a personal consultation with a probate attorney.

James Blount Griffin and Randy Bryan Ligh agree with this answer

James Blount Griffin
James Blount Griffin
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Madison, AL
  • Licensed in Alabama

A: Joint bank accounts often, but not always, have a "right of survivorship" to the account holder who survives the other. The terms of the account are in that envelope full of small print that you get when you open an account. The ownership of a bank account is often a separate issue from the decedent's estate, heirs, and administrator. Talk to a qualified attorney. "Winging it" is not a good idea.

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