Does my brother have to share the bank account money from my parents, if his name is the only name listed as beneficiary?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Does my brother have to share the bank account money from my parents, if his name is the only name listed as beneficiary?

My mom died and left him in charge of the Will. Everything is to divided equally among her 7 children. His name was the beneficiary for the accounts at the banks. Does he need to disclose this amount and share with us or can he keep all the money cause he is listed as the


Asked on July 8, 2016 under Estate Planning, Alaska


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It really depends on the wording of the documents that your mom signed at the bank.  Sometimes people are added to assist with 'signing' authority and are not meant to inherit after the original party on the account is deceased.
However, some accounts do have provisions which automatically pass ownership to the other person on the passing of the co-owner.  If this is the situation with your mom and brother, then the funds automatically passed to him upon her passing.  These types of beneficiary designations are automatic and will not be trumped or over-riden by what the will says.  The will can only divide assets that are not already disposed of through other means.
Sooo.. you need to get a copy of the banking agreements and have a probate attorney review them to see exactly what was or was not gifted to your brother.

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