If your name is on a shared certificate of deposit account (the kind that says “Patricia Miramon or Someone Else”), the funds in that account will not necessarily go to you (the other account holder) in the event of the account owner’s death.

Banks are concerned with who can withdraw funds from a shared, “or” account, but the law is concerned with who the account belongs to, or who owns it.

To ensure that the contents of a shared certificate of deposit account become your property in the event of the account owner’s death, we recommend that the account owner take these steps:

  1. Execute an Affidavit of Kinship at the bank
  2. Ask your bank to title the account “In trust for…” or “Pay on death to…”

The account owner must follow both of these steps to ensure that the other account holder will receive the funds. If this is not done, the account will be part of the probate estate and go to the legatees under the will or  to the heirs at law if there is no will. Please consult with us the best way to word your will to accomplish your goals.