Using Banks and Bank Accounts/Joint Bank Account

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Question
I have a joint savings account in both my mother's and my name ("Or" account) with her name first on the account. If she passes away, do I have immediate access to the money in this account, or will this account be considered part of her estate and therefore subject to probate? (My father has passed).

Thank you.

Answer
I am not familiar with Maryland law, so this may not be accurate there. You should simply check with the bank to make sure (unless your mother is already dead). Most states would consider a "joint" account part of the estate of the deceased and would freeze the entire account until some form of probate is done.

One way around this is to convert the account to a POD (payment on death) or Survivor account. Again the bank should be able to let you know.

Now if you mother has recently died, and you are the only heir, I would suggest just removing all of the money into your own personal account thereby avoiding the need to probate (unless there is some other reason to do so). Once the bank finds out she has died they will freeze the account.

Using Banks and Bank Accounts

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Alexander J. Hay

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I am a U.S. lawyer with offices in Houston, Texas and in Belize. I can answer questions on U.S. Immigration, U.S. corporate law, and Offshore Tax and Asset Planning.

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I am a U.S. attorney with offices in the United States and Belize. I have experience helping to protect assets, reduce taxes, and improve investment performance by utilizing global investment techniques.

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