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

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. Best answer

    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 http://www.sjfpc.com/page1.html and Pennsylvania Probate & Estate Administration: Executor Duties at http://www.sjfpc.com/pennsylvania_probate_estate__administration_duties_of_executor_and_administrator.html

    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 sjfpc@comcast.net , his website for more tax, estate and business articles is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER 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 sjfpc@comcast.net , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.


  2. 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.


  3. 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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