When someone passes away, the ownership of joint bank accounts is determined by the type of ownership of the account. In many cases, joint bank accounts have a “right of survivorship” feature, which means that when one account holder dies, the surviving account holder(s) automatically inherit the funds in the account. Another way ownership of a bank account can be addressed is by using a POD (Pay on death) statement on the account form or other form. Finally, if not going to a person as mentioned, the parent can leave it to you in her Will.
If you were listed as a joint account holder on your mother’s bank accounts with a right of survivorship, or POD, you would inherit the funds in those accounts upon her passing. However, it is essential to review the specific terms and conditions of the accounts to determine how the accounts will be handled.
It is advisable to contact the bank where the accounts are held and inform them of your mother’s passing. They will be able to guide you through the necessary steps and provide information on any documentation required to transfer the funds to your name.
WARNING: Many times, when a bank account is established the bank employee does not explain who will receive the account or may routinely ask the person to specify a POD or right of survivorship payee. Make sure that the person opening the account sets it up the way they desire and are informed. If not, then in situations where there are multiple children the true intent of the parent above who is to receive the property is not met and can cause problems between siblings or spouses.