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There is a will i'm adminisstrator only money in joint bank accounts amount less than$ 250,000 need to probate or file taxes?

Boston, MA |

do I need to probate this estate

Attorney Answers 6


  1. If the only asset is money in joint bank accounts, then you very likely do NOT need to file probate. Whether taxes are owed or not may depend on the nature of the accounts. You may be responsible for income taxes.

    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!


  2. Doesn't sound like you do. But just to be sure, have someone check the wording.


    henry lebensbaum esq 300 Brickstone Sq Ste 201 andover, ma -- attorneylebensbaum@verizon.net (978) 749-3606.
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  3. You may want to consult a probate attorney to determine whether probate is necessary. You mention a joint bank account as for monetary assets but you don't say whether there is any real property owned by the decedent, personal property the decedent wants to dispose of or any other assets. If the joint account passes automatically to the survivor and there are no other assets then you likely would not need to probate the will but if there are other assets you should really consult an attorney to discuss what if any tax consequences may arise and to properly administer the estate. I'm sorry for your loss and best of luck.

    Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. (It lets us know how we are doing.) Attorney Kremer is licensed to practice in Massachusetts. Please visit her Avvo profile for contact information. In accordance with Avvo guidelines, the following disclaimer applies to all responses given in this forum: The above is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer.


  4. Joint accounts do not usually go through probate and no federal estate taxes on 5.25m of less.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.


  5. If the only assets are those held in a joint bank account, then there is nothing to probate. You are obligated to file the will and an original death certificate with the court. You also should review the decedent's financial records, as you may need to file the final personal income tax return.

    I suggest that you meet with a probate attorney for a consultation to review the will and the financial records and determine for certain what steps you need to take.

    E. Alexandra "Sasha" Golden is a Massachusetts lawyer. All answers are based on Massachusetts law. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question.


  6. A probate proceeding is not required to transfer an account owned jointly with rights of survivorship. However, I have seen this type of arrangement cause problems in the past. Many individuals add another person to their account for banking convenience, not realizing that they may be disinheriting other relatives and nullifying the terms of their will. If the surviving owner tries to give funds to others named in the will to balance distributions out, they will likely put themselves in a bad situation for tax purposes. Although this situation sounds simple, sitting down with a good probate attorney would be beneficial.

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