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Considering making or updating your will?
Don’t forget to review your banking arrangements. Although a commonly used device between spouses or relatives, a joint account doesn’t always include survivorship rights. Mere deposit of funds into a joint account has, in some cases, been insufficient to show the primary depositor’s intent that the other holder have ownership of the account after their death.
For example, joint accounts held by a parent and child have sometimes been presumed by the court to exist only to facilitate efficient management of one party’s finances. The documentation you create when opening the account can become important to a court’s determination of your survivorship intentions.
When opening a joint account, inquire about your bank’s policies regarding survivorship and whether there are additional documents you can complete to make your intentions clear and unambiguous. Bring information about your arrangements to your discussion of testamentary wishes with your lawyer so she can take them into account when preparing your will.
Please contact our office for assistance with your specific estate planning objectives.