If my brother’s name is on my mother’s bank account as joint, is he the only one entitled to her money after her death? 30 Answers as of October 24, 2012

Mother is deceased and my brother name is on account, but only 5 months before mother's death, is it still legal and is there a law that speak against it?

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Victor Varga | Victor Varga
The money is his, but you can claim that some of it belonged to your mother. Tough part will be proving it now that she's deceased.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 10/24/2012
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG | Robert I. Long
From the bank perspective, it is a contract and brother is entitled to the money. In California, whether you have an enforceable claim to a portion of the funds turns on your mother's intent. If she added him only as a convenience to help her pay bills, without intending he was to keep anything left, then you may ha ve a case. Unfortunately, unless she signed a writing to that effect, or your brother openly admits that was the arrangement, proving it will be next to impossible.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/24/2012
Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
I am sorry for your loss. Yes, if your brother is joint tenant on the bank account, upon your mother's passing, the money is his alone. You can contest the transfer if you believe your brother used some type of undue influence to obtain access to the account.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/22/2012
Bassinger & Harvey
Bassinger & Harvey | Randy J Harvey
Depending on the size of your mother's estate, and whether or not there is a will, the money should go through the estate. However, the bank will allow co-holders of an account to have access to money, even when one person is deceased. You should consult an attorney if you have other questions about settlement of your mother's estate. This advice is based on the limited facts that you have provided and other facts may change the advice. You should consult an attorney and provide a complete set of facts. We provide a reduced rate initial consultation for $35.00, if you would like a more complete answer. We are not representing you in this or any other matter, unless and until you and we have entered into a written agreement for services.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 10/22/2012
Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
There is a presumption under Michigan law that when an account is held as joint tenants, that the intent is that the surviving joint tenant is to receive the balance. This presumption can be overcome, but it is difficult to do. If there is some evidence that your mother's intent was otherwise, then you should meet with a lawyer. If there is a Will, for example, which specifically references the account(s) and states that they are being made joint for "convenience purposes only," that would go a long way towards proving your case.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/22/2012
    Carmen B. Marquez, PC | Carmen B. Marquez
    Based on Contract Law: When an account is owned in joint tenancy, the survivor becomes the owner of the account.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/22/2012
    Edward L. Armstrong, P.C. | Edward L. Armstrong
    The joint account is not illegal. Your brother would own that account but others in the family might wonder if mother was unduly influenced by your brother.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 10/22/2012
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    If the account is a joint account with rights of survivorship, then your brother gets the money.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/22/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    If is was a true joint account then the account became his upon her death. You should consult a probate attorney to review exactly how title to the account was held and advise you as to the current ownership.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/22/2012
    Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski
    Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski | Gerald A. Bagazinski
    There is a legal presumption that he gets the account. This can be overcome by arguing that he was a fiduciary for his mother, that his name was on the account for her convenience, that there was fraud, duress or undue influence in getting his him name placed on the account.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/22/2012
    Grant Morris Dodds | Mark Dodds
    As long as your mother was legally competent and was not coerced when she added your brother's name to the account, the designation of your brother will hold up and he is the only one entitled to the account.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/22/2012
    Law Offices of Charles R. Perry
    Law Offices of Charles R. Perry | Charles R. Perry
    If the account was held jointly, then the money passes automatically to the joint survivor. To set this aside, you would need to prove, in court, that your brother did something wrong in getting his name on this account.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/22/2012
    Bullivant Houser Bailey PC
    Bullivant Houser Bailey PC | Darin Christensen
    In Oregon, the joint owner of an account becomes the sole owner on the death of the other joint owner. If you can overcome the presumption that this was the intent of your mother (which would require more than just your statement) or if you can demonstrate undue influence (for example, if your brother was controlling your mother), it is possible to get it changed-but it will take a lot of legal fees to do so.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/22/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    The account becomes his alone when she dies. It might be possible to get a court to order otherwise but the court would need strong evidence that this was not the result intended by your mother.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/22/2012
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Yes, he is the only one entitled to her money at her death if he's a joint owner. Of course, that may not be what she meant to happen. If there is a lot of money at stake, you could sue him, asserting a "constructive trust."
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/22/2012
    Winnick Ruben Hoffnung Peabody & Mendel, LLC | Daniel N. Hoffnung
    If your mother added him as a joint holder of the account, it is his when she dies. Barring undue influence, there is probably nothing you can do. Did she leave him instructions to share the money?
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 10/22/2012
    Law Offices of Robert H. Glorch | Jeffrey R. Gottlieb
    The general rule is that account passes to the surviving joint tenant upon death. However, this presumption can be overcome by clear and convincing evidence that the decedent did not intend a gift, but rather included the joint tenant for convenience purposes only.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 10/22/2012
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW | Carl C Silver
    Your brother is the only person entitled to the money in the bank account.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/22/2012
    Neil J. Lehto, Esq.
    Neil J. Lehto, Esq. | Neil J. Lehto
    The joint account is presumed to be owned by the surviving owner. You can try to overcome that presumption in probate court by evidence that he was added to the account for her convenience in his assisting with her financial affairs. You should act quickly getting a probate estate opened and asking the court to order the bank account frozen. Otherwise, he may, withdraw the money, the recovery of which then gets more difficult.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/22/2012
    Whiteford, Taylor, & Preston | Edwin Fee
    Generally, a joint account will pass to the surviving joint owner(s).
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 10/22/2012
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    He is the only person entitled to the money if he was a joint tenant on the account by right of survivorship.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/22/2012
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    It passed to him at her death by operation of law. If she lacked capacity at the time he was added that may be an issue to pursue. If she had capacity when she added him to the account, then it is his at her death. You may wish to discuss the specific facts with an attorney before decision or not to take action.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/22/2012
    Skillern Law Firm
    Skillern Law Firm | Penni Skillern
    Yes, if he is on the account, he is the legal co-owner, and now sole owner.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 10/22/2012
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