I have a 100 year old aunt and I am the executor of her will. She lives in N.Y. and I reside in California. From what I've heard from her, the majority of her money is invested in several joint bank accounts with her. They are split up between my mother my brother and myself. She also says that 50% of her money will go to my mother and the other two quarters will go to me and my brother. When my mother dies, the rest will go to me and my brother. The problem is that she cannot find the original copy of her will. As a matter of fact, I am the only one who has a signature assigned to my bank account with her because I'm the executor. I am very confused and I believe she is too. She is not open to making up a new will. I live in California and I would be willing to fly there to have a lawyer meet with her and myself in her apartment but she's hesitant. Without the original copy of that will, will all the money go to the state of New York?
1 Answer from Attorneys
The joint bank accounts will go to whomever is the co-owner along with your aunt. If there is no co-owner on any of her accounts, then the money will go to a beneficiary she has (maybe) named on the account paperwork. After that, if your aunt has no will, her money will go to her closest living relatives, which would be your mother, and any other brothers and sisters that your aunt has who are still alive, or to their children if they are deceased.