Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Michigan

Intestate Probate - convenience acct or joint account?

My father past away this past October, without a will. Leaving a joint tenant account with me. The estate is now in probata. The attorney representing the estate has informed me that my four siblings want the account, and are stating that a bankruptcy discharged in 2000, where I did not list it as an asset (per my father's instruction), I had not contributed any funds to this account. My siblings are calling it a convenience account. This past summer, my father told me he wanted me to have the funds when he past. He gave me all the account information at that time, along with the location of the checkbook. The account is held in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship.

Is this account legally mine?

Asked on 12/22/04, 7:04 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Blake Lipman Law Office of Blake P. Lipman

Re: Intestate Probate - convenience acct or joint account?

If your siblings want to make an issue out of this account, they certainly can do that. It would be an issue for the probate court to sort out. If they can convince a probate judge that the account was created solely for the convenience of the decedent, they can force you to give the money back to the estate. You will argue that it was a joint asset and that your father created the account so that you owned the money along with him. For more info, please contact my office at (248)851-3171.

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Answered on 12/27/04, 11:28 am

William Stern William Stern, P.C.

Re: Intestate Probate - convenience acct or joint account?

I'd take the money and let them come after me. There is a statute giving you a presumption in your favor. The presumption can be defeated, but let them work for it. Bill Stern 248-353-9400

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Answered on 12/22/04, 8:47 pm

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