Enfield, CT asked in Banking, Estate Planning and Probate for Connecticut

Q: Hi, I have a question about joint bank account after a parent passes away.

My Father added my name on 2 of his bank accounts so I can write out the checks for him after my Mom passed away, he has now passed away and my Brother is the Executer of the will. Since I am the Joint owner on those 2 accounts, can he access that money? The Will states that he got certain items and everything else is to be split 3 ways with my Sister. I have heard that that money is legally mine, is that true or does that have to be split between him and my Sister?

Thank you

1 Lawyer Answer
Nicholas Arthur Matlach
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Providence, RI
  • Licensed in Connecticut

A: Here's some information based on Connecticut law, but please remember to consult an estate planning attorney for advice on your specific situation:

- Joint Ownership & Right of Survivorship: In Connecticut, joint bank accounts with the right of survivorship are generally presumed to pass directly to the surviving owner, potentially bypassing the will's instructions. (Connecticut General Statutes Section 36a-292).

- Challenging Ownership: Your brother, as executor, has a responsibility to uphold the will's intentions. He might challenge your sole ownership of the funds if he thinks they are part of the estate to be divided. This might require evidence of your father's intent when adding you to the accounts.

- Connecticut Probate Law: Connecticut probate laws are complex, and the outcome of your situation depends greatly on details like the exact wording of the will and how the joint accounts were established.


- Consult an Attorney: A Connecticut probate or estate attorney is crucial. They can analyze your situation and advise on your legal rights under Connecticut law.

- Gather Evidence: Collect any bank documents, statements, or written communications with your father that might clarify why he added you to the accounts.

- Approach with Caution: Discuss this with your brother if possible. Explain your understanding of joint account rules in Connecticut, but be prepared that you may need legal help to resolve things amicably.

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