Inheritance questions

Asked about 5 years ago - Costa Mesa, CA

My wife was left $25,000 from her paternal grandmother, to be given to her when she turned 24 years of age.

When she reached 24 years, the money was distributed from the trust in the form of a check, made out in her name. She was worried about "blowing" the whole sum, squandering it away on something stupid (which she had seen her cousins do with their shares), and asked her mother to hold the money for her in a joint account, requiring two signatures for withdrawal.

She has since withdrawn approximately $10,000, never encountering any issues or restrictive access.

My wife is now 28, and we are planning a move out of state. Her parents disagree with our plans and are refusing access to her money.

Looking for advice on the legality of the situation and if we have any legal recourse.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Paula Ann Clarkson

    Contributor Level 6

    Answered . It all depends on how the account was opened and the requirements that put on withdrawls. If the account is a trust joint tenant account then either party should be able to take out all of the money.

    This response is informational only and does not constitute legal, accounting or other professional advice nor does it create any attorney client relationship between the asker of the questions, and ready of the answer or me. It is a general response to a general question. A personal and confidential consultation with qualified legal counsel is needed to evaluate the specific legal issues, appropriate legal strategies and tactics that should be implemented.

    IRS Circular 230 Notice: Any U.S. federal tax advice contained in the foregoing communication (including any attachments) was not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed with respect to the matters addressed. No one, without our express prior written permission, may use any part of this communication (including any attachments) in promoting, marketing or recommending an arrangement relating to any federal tax matter to one or more taxpayers.

  2. Paula Ann Clarkson

    Contributor Level 6

    Answered . It all depends on how the account was opened and the requirements that put on withdrawls. If the account is a trust joint tenant account then either party should be able to take out all of the money.

    This response is informational only and does not constitute legal, accounting or other professional advice nor does it create any attorney client relationship between the asker of the questions, and ready of the answer or me. It is a general response to a general question. A personal and confidential consultation with qualified legal counsel is needed to evaluate the specific legal issues, appropriate legal strategies and tactics that should be implemented.

    IRS Circular 230 Notice: Any U.S. federal tax advice contained in the foregoing communication (including any attachments) was not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed with respect to the matters addressed. No one, without our express prior written permission, may use any part of this communication (including any attachments) in promoting, marketing or recommending an arrangement relating to any federal tax matter to one or more taxpayers.

  3. Frank A Selden

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . if it only takes 1 signature then get the money out of the account. i worked in a bank for years before going to law school. some banks do not enforce the "two signature" rule and clearly state (in the multiple pages of fine print) that it is the responsibility of the clients to enforce their own two signature rule. even if you do not have an account with such a bank the bank might let one person close the account (and take all the money). this is usually done for JTWROS accounts but not for JTIC so this depends on who exactly the account is titled.

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