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Joint Checking and Estate Settlement Problem

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We have an issue regarding a deposit account. The account was a joint account for a husband and wife and they both died in a car accident, so the time of death is the same. The decedents have different executors and want to settle the estate, so how do we to go about closing the account? Should we make a check payable to both estates (Example: John Doe Estate and Jane Doe Estate) or should we divide the amount in half and close with two checks, one for each estate?

This is a state law question and should not involve any guesswork. Many states have a "simultaneous death" statute that answers the question in a straightforward fashion. Check with your bank's attorney.

First published on 9/18/06

First published on 09/18/2006

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