What Happens to Money in Joint Account When One Person Dies?

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“My aunt passed away and both our names are on a savings account and checking account. I’ve moved the savings account over to the checking account. I am paying her bills using the checking account. Do these monies belong to me now or do they have to go through the courts? Missouri is the state involved”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

That will depend on many factors, including how exactly your names are listed on the accounts, and what, if anything, was stated in your aunt’s will. So long as you are using the money (half or more of which may belong to your aunt’s estate) to pay your aunt’s bills, there is probably little issue, but you’ll want to check with a Missouri trusts and estates attorney before using the money for anything else.

Recommended reading (click on the picture for details):
Family Wealth--Keeping It in the Family: How Family Members and Their Advisers Preserve Human, Intellectual, and Financial Assets for Generations

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Author: Anne P. Mitchell, Esq.

Anne P. Mitchell, Esq. is a noted family law expert, Internet law expert, and Professor of Law at Lincoln Law School of San Jose. She is the author of "Surviving Divorce: the Single Father's Guide" and "The Email Deliverability Handbook"

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