Palm Harbor, FL asked in Probate for Florida

Q: Is the money inherited from a joint account, or a POD/ITF/TOD account at risk from another beneficiary using probate?

My mother passed away recently. There were 2 children/beneficiaries. The other one is making my life a living hell and causing as much trouble as possible with the house and car - complicating every aspect of the probate process and trying to take everything. The house is exempt because it is a homestead property and the car is also exempt. So there are really just a few checks that are probate assets. But my main concern is whether this other beneficiary could in some way, try to use his attorney, the court or some other aspect of probate to try and claim some or all of that the money I got via the bank accounts (a joint account and several POD accounts). I would put nothing past him. I'd like to at least not have to stress over that money being at risk along with everything else. Is it safe from a probate court's jurisdiction?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ira Markowitz
Ira Markowitz
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Coral Springs, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Normally those assets would pass to joint account survivor or the names beneficiaries in the POD & TOD accounts or beneficiaries named in a life insurance product.

However, if Carpenter factors are alleged e.g., undue influence or violation of a position of trust or the grantor had dementia or Alzheimer’s disease or Cognitive impairment then the creation of the Joint tenancy or TOD or POA or named beneficiary can be challenged.

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