Who is liable for the estate if my father dies? 8 Answers as of August 05, 2011If my father has my sister as joint owner on his checking and savings accounts, and he dies with an outstanding loan that he has signed a personal guarantee. Who is liable for it his estate or my sister that owns the checking accounts.
Olson Althauser Samuelson & Rayan, LLP | Todd S. Rayan
His Estate would be liable for any outstanding debts. The joint ownership accounts are non-probate assets and would normally pass to your sister. However, if the estate is insolvent, meaning there are not enough assets to pay all of the liabilities, a creditor may seek to recover from the non-probate assets.
Answer Applies to: Washington
The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A. | Laurie E. Ohall
Creditors can only have a claim against assets that go through probate. If your sister was joint (with rights of survivorship) on your dad's checking and savings, then his bank accounts automatically belonged to your sister at his death. If the loan that he had was for an asset that she was also jointly titled with him on, although she may not be liable for the loan, the creditor may be able to take back the collateral. If it is a loan that is not associated with any assets that were transferred to your sister, then the creditor's claim is against your father's probate estate.
Answer Applies to: Florida
The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
That can depend on what is meant by "joint owner". If the account was held on the account statement at the bank with words such as "joint tenants", "joint tenants with right of survivorship" or the initials "JTWRS" then at his death all of the money goes to the other joint tenant. His estate is liable for his debts. If the bank account passed to her as a joint tenant, then it is not part of his estate. If she was just a signer on the account or a tenant in common owner, then money in that account would be part of his estate and must first be sued to pay his debts.
Answer Applies to: California
Martinson & Beason, PC | Douglas C Martinson II
The checking account is a non-probate assets since it is JTWROS or Pay on Death. It would not be part of the estate and not subject to the creditors of the estate. If there are not enough assets in the estate, it would be an insolvent estate and no creditors would be paid. Your sister would not be under any legal obligation to pay the loan.
Answer Applies to: Alabama