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My mom and I have a joint account and she added my sister as POA. Mom passed 2 weeks ago. Is the account mine or the estate's?

Columbus, OH |
Filed under: Credit Probate

There is a joint money market , regular savings, and checking in a credit union and the amount in total is approximately $18K. Mom was primary, I was secondary.

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Attorney answers 4


My condolences for your loss. The POA would lapse upon your mother's passing, so that should not be an issue. As to the joint accounts, if they included rights of survivorship then they would be yours and would not be part of the estate. Most joint accounts include rights of survivorship. Start by contacting the bank to find out how your accounts were actually held.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This post is provided for informational purposes only; does not constitute legal advice; and does not create an attorney-client relationship.


I agree with Abraham's comments. In most cases, joint assets are held outside of probate however I don't have enough information to determine if your assets qualify. In any event, if the accounts are Payable On Death (POD), then they will pass outside of probate and be transferred directly to the beneficiary after providing the bank or institution with a death certificate, in most cases.


I agree with the previous two responses. Legally, ownership of a joint account passes to the joint owner, assuming the joint owner has rights of survivorship.

Sometimes an elderly parent will put one of his/her children's names on an account as a joint owner for the purpose of enabling the designated child to assist with banking and other financial matters. In this case, however, because your mother also designated your sister as POA, it would appear that she actually intended for you to be a joint owner on the account and for the account to pass to you at her death.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER Ms. Willi is licensed to practice law in the state of OH and she maintains an office in Franklin County. Ms. Willi is an OSBA board certified specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law. She is admitted to practice before the U.S. Tax Court, and she is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States . Her phone number is 614-890-0500 and her website is Ms. Willi is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. This response is a form of legal education and is intended only to 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. Ms. Willi 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.


I am very sorry for your loss. I agree with all previous responses. The only point I will add is that you should contact the bank as soon as possible. Although your mother's POA expired at the time of her death, your sister will remain on the account until the bank is notified. You should give a bank employee a certified copy of your mother's death certificate. Upon receipt of the death certificate, the bank will know that your sister no longer has authority to access the account.

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