Columbus, OH asked in Banking, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Iowa

Q: Am I entitled to money on a joint account that was closed and taken out without my knowledge?

I had an account as a minor with one parent that had money coming in from social security from the death of my other parent. This account was closed after my 18th birthday with no money. Am I able to get any of the money back that my one parent took out of it?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Iowa, if you had a joint account with a parent that was closed and emptied without your knowledge, particularly after turning 18, your entitlement to the funds depends on several factors. Joint accounts typically grant equal rights to all account holders, meaning either party can withdraw funds without the other's consent. However, the specifics of your situation, especially the source of the funds being social security benefits due to a parent's death, may influence your rights to the money.

First, gather all relevant documents related to the account, including statements showing the withdrawals and any communication from the bank regarding the account closure. This will help in understanding the flow of funds and the actions taken by the other account holder.

Consult with a lawyer who has experience in banking and estate law. They can assess the details of your case, including the nature of the funds and the circumstances under which they were withdrawn. This is crucial in determining whether you have a legal claim to recover the funds.

If the funds were intended for your benefit, particularly as social security benefits due to a parent's death, you might have a claim against the parent who withdrew the money. This could involve legal action to recover what was wrongfully taken.

Remember, the laws governing joint accounts and the rights of account holders can be complex. Legal advice specific to your situation will be key in determining your best course of action.

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