An Asset of the Individual or the Estate?
Aitkens & Aitkens, P.C. is frequently called upon to resolve joint account disputes in estate administration. A sibling or adult child is listed on the account, but did the primary account holder intend for that heir to retain it upon his or her death?
We have represented the other excluded heirs who are deprived of their rightful inheritance, or the heir whose name is included on the account. We also represent executors who are trying to determine the character of an asset when the will is silent about it. These are sticky disputes that hinge on the applicable probate law and discerning the intentions of the deceased. If the person died without a will, it only complicates matters.
Contact us today to discuss your rights. Our experienced estate litigation attorneys handle joint account disputes and other will contests in greater Atlanta, north Georgia and statewide. We routinely represent out-of-state heirs and executors.
Joint Account Disputes
A typical scenario: The deceased held a savings account, checking account, money market, CD or investment account. The deceased added a son or daughter, brother, sister or other relative onto the account for access. Perhaps that family member helped manage the finances and wrote checks to pay the bills, or ran errands to make purchases for the primary account holder. In other words, the joint account status was for convenience only, and there was no provision in the will or stated intention to transfer ownership of the account without consideration prior to death or even upon death. The court must determine if there is an implied trust or gift — an unexpressed intention of the deceased to make a gift out of love and affection, or as appreciation for services, or if such account should be included as an estate asset.
At Aitkens & Aitkens, we realize that a joint account dispute pits family against family. We aim to resolve these sensitive issues without causing greater rifts. However, we are skilled trial lawyers prepared to lay down the law to protect our clients’ interests if a relative is claiming assets that should be fairly divided among all heirs.
Discuss your situation with our experienced attorneys. Call 877-595-1393 or e-mail us about a joint account dispute or other probate dispute. We also provide careful estate planning to avoid these divisive scenarios.