Answer by John Burnett:The purpose in obtaining information about accounts that were joint prior to the death of a depositor is not to take control of such accounts, but to determine whether the estate has any tax or other liability based on total assets owned at time of death. There is no reason not to provide the attorney the requested information, and to indicate the name of the POD payee or surviving joint owner(s), as the case may be. One webinar on CD-ROM that you might find helpful for training is "Issues with Deceased Customers," presented by Mary Beth Guard and John Burnett, available in the BOL Banker Store.
Answer by Ken Golliher: A competent attorney will also request copies of the documents that establish any claimed right of survivorship, and if they are not compliant with state law, will request that you deliver those funds to the personal representative of the decedent's estate.
First published on BankersOnline.com 8/02/10