Do I need to file a Will if there is only a small checking account?

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Do I need to file a Will if there is only a small checking account?

My aunt recently pass ed away. I am her personal rep. All assets were

liquidated for her nursing home care. All that is left is a small checking account which was joint with me.

Asked on July 1, 2018 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

When a person dies, any joint accounts that they were listed on then become the sole property of the surviving owner. Accordingy, in this case, this means that you are entitled to the funds in the bank account without the need of probate. However, any assets that were in your aunt's name alone would have to be probated. That is unless, they are below a certain value, in that case you may be able to trnsfer them via a small estate procedure or even just an affidavit, depending on specific state law. You can google information regarding small estates using the name of the applicable state.


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