If your partner has passed away, you may be concerned about what might happen to the money held in your joint bank account. We understand that you might be worried about accessing the account or using funds that were previously held jointly, so what happens to joint bank accounts after one party passes away?
Was the account held jointly?
Firstly, it is important to ascertain whether the account was in fact held jointly. Many couples share a bank account, but it is not always held jointly with both parties named on the account. You should determine the status of the bank account to find out who was the account holder to help you understand your circumstances.
Were you married or in a civil partnership?
Where joint account holders were married or in a civil partnership and both parties contributed to the account, half of the balance of the account at the date of death is presumed to belong to the person who has passed away. Where you were not married or in a civil partnership, the executor must establish how much of the account balance was owned by the deceased.
Can I access the account?
If the account is owned jointly, you can still access the account as you would normally. However, as discussed above, a certain amount will be deemed to belong to the estate of the deceased and so it is important that you do not spend more than your share before the estate has been settled, even where you stand to inherit the money.
What if only one of us contributed to the account?
If an account is held in joint names, but only one person contributed to the account, the balance of the account will be deemed to be owned by the person who contributed. This situation can be difficult where the contributor passes away leaving the other account holder in need of access to money.
Where the surviving partner is the sole contributor to the account, they might need to prove to the executor that they contributed all of the funds to the account. If they can prove that they were the sole contributor, the funds held in the account will be excluded from the estate.
We understand that this may be a very challenging time for you. We can help you navigate the complexities of dealing with the estate of a loved one, and relieve some of the pressure you are experiencing. To discuss your specific circumstances, get in touch with our team today.
"After having three times unsuccessfully submitted documents to the Sheriff court for confirmation and the court being unable to give advice due to the value of the estate, I had phoned a number solicitors looking for a fixed price to carry out the work but was only being given hourly rates it was then that I found the details for Wilson Fish online and contacted them. The process was done very fast and was sorted out quickly. Thank you for your assistance."
- Boilerdoctor Accounts, Scotland, January 2020
Contact our Expert Executry Probate Solicitors Glasgow, Scotland
Our executry solicitors in Glasgow, Scotland, can help you to wind up the estate of a loved one in Scotland quickly and effectively. Based in Glasgow, we help clients throughout Scotland including Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Paisley, East Kilbride and Stirling.
If you are an executor of an estate in Scotland and looking to obtain Confirmation and to wind up the estate, contact our solicitors for a quote on 0141 222 7951 or complete our online enquiry form.