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Authorized Signer Rights After Owner's Death

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We have a customer who is the sole owner on a checking account and she is deceased. There is, however, an authorized signer on the account. What rights does the authorized signer have now that the owner is deceased? My thought is that they have no rights after death since they are not an owner and that the funds are now part of the decedents estate. Am I on the right track?

This is purely a function of state law; the Maine answer may be different than the Minnesota answer. However, your thought process is consistent with the general concepts in "the law of agency."

An agent, authorized signer, or convenience signer has a power of attorney limited to a particular account at a particular institution. He or she has no ownership or survivorship interest in the funds. Upon the death of the person(s) who appointed the agent, the power stops.

First published on 4/01/02

First published on 04/01/2002

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