Probate Questions: Everything in Joint Names – do I need Probate?
My father is recently deceased. As his son I had power of attorney over his affairs and all financial assets are in our joint names. There is a will and I am the executor.
I need to know if there is anything official I have to do before settling her estate which does not involve any property.
We have registered her death and carried out a funeral.
Answer to Probate Question on Joint Accounts.
Only genuinely joint accounts pass automatically. It sounds as if you were not a contributor to the accounts, just the person managing them. On this basis, the accounts belong to the estate and not to you. Whether probate is required will be a matter for the institutions holding the assets, provided there is no requirement for probate – see the article on excepted estates.
Are you the sole beneficiary?
If so, then just presenting the death certificate to all concerned may be enough. This will normally remove the deceased persons’ name from the account leaving you as the sole owner. Having said that:
Doing would mean that there were no assets left to be disposed of in the Will thus disinheriting anyone else mentioned in the Will, as long as everything is in joint names, which may not go down too well! And in these circumstances, that may well not be legally correct.
Hope that helps – see also the Probate Guide attached.