Do I have to list a joint account in an inventory and appraisal for probate?

Asked about 2 years ago - Sacramento, CA

I have been given mixed advise as to whether I have to list an account in both mine and my father's name on attachment 1 of the inventory and appraisal. I am petitioning for successorship on an estate less than $150,000 which includes real and personal property.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Thomas Edward Rossmeissl


    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . An account held in joint names typically is presumed to go to the surviving owner. Check with the institution to determine what the contract for that account provides.

    Generally, only the decedent's assets that do not pass to others by contract or by right of survivorship, are to be included on the inventory and appraisal for probate purposes.

    If you are receiving mixed advise on this, that suggests that there may be some further complications. You should consider consulting with a probate attorney in your jurisdiction.

    This general response is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.
  2. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20


    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . The prior attorney offers sound advice. Probate covers assets not disposed of by other means. So beneficiary designated property like life insurance or retirement plans or jointly owned property are not part of probate.

    Do not do this on your own; get with an estates attorney. For a sense of what is involved in administering an estate in most states, please see the following two articles: Estate & Probate Administration: Do Not Try This On Your Own at and Pennsylvania Probate & Estate Administration: Executor Duties at

    Hope this helps.

    Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is , his website for more tax, estate and business articles is and his blog is

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia... more
  3. Dwight Edward Tompkins

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . If this is a joint tenancy with right of survivorship account, it should not be included in the inventory of the probate estate as a general rule.

    If the account is set up differently, as a tenancy in common, for example, or you are merely a power of attorney on the account, then the account (or some part of it) will be considered part of the probate estate in California.

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