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Does a will supersede a Transfer On Death under certain circumstances?

Chandler, AZ |

Our father passed away a month ago. He had a clause in his will that said all his assets should go to his surviving children that were alive 30 days after his date of death. Sadly, our sister passed away two weeks after our father passed. The TOD names all his children as beneficiaries. Our sister was single with no children and leaves no estate however, the bank is telling us her share goes to her estate and it will have to be probated. Is there a court document that we can file that will advise the court of the circumstances so her inheritance does not have to be probated?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    The bank is likely correct. What the will says does not control. Rather the terms of the TOD account control. SInce your sister died after your father, he share of the TOD account became "vested" when he died, and the account now belongs to her estate. You may need probate unless the account was small enough to qualify for small estate procedures under Arizona law.


  2. It would most likely still need to be probated.

    Feel free to give me a call for a no-cost, no obligation consultation.

    Good luck.

    Scott A. Mac Leod is licensed to practice law in Arizona. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice for a particular matter. This response does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult an attorney.


  3. It sounds to me like the bank is correct. Depending on the amount involved you may be able to use a small estate procedure to avoid full blown probate of this share. It is likely that you and your siblings would be the ones receiving this, anyway. An attorney can analyze this for you and determine if there may be a shortcut to getting you these funds.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

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