I was on my parent’s bank account – does this have to go through probate?

That depends on how the bank account was titled.  Assets must go through Florida probate only if they are owned solely in the decedent’s name at death.  In other words, there were no co-owners on the asset nor were there beneficiary designations (such as with life insurance or retirement accounts).  Examples of assets that must go through probate in Florida are bank or investment accounts owned solely in the name of the decedent (although these accounts can be made payable on death to avoid probate – but you have to specifically ask the bank to make the account “P.O.D.”); and, life insurance, annuity contracts or retirement accounts that are specifically made payable to “the estate of” the decedent (I don’t recommend this); real estate titled solely in the decedent’s name or as tenants in common with someone else (joint tenants with rights of survivorship is not a probate asset).  This list is not exclusive and you should seek the counsel of a qualified Florida probate attorney to help you determine which assets must go through probate. To learn more about Florida Probate, please contact the Law Offices of Laurie Ohall.

By |2011-01-21T09:13:15+00:00January 21st, 2011|Categories: Power of Attorney, Probate|2 Comments