Can executor switch an asset from an estate account into a joint account?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can executor switch an asset from an estate account into a joint account?

My brother took an assisted living rebate check of $11,005 that was issued to my late father’s estate and asked the facility to re-issue it under his name, where upon he then deposited into a joint account he had with my father instead of the estate account. Is this considered fraud or breach of fiduciary trust?

Asked on May 19, 2017 under Estate Planning, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It may be theft as well as breach of fiduciary duty: if there was a joint account with your brother as a joint account holder, the money it becomes his automcatically on the death of the other account holder; it does not become part of the estate. If he has deposited the money in a joint account and not the estate account, where it belongs, he has effectively taken it from the estate and given it to himself, which is not something he should legally be allowed to do.

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