I am a co-signer on my mom’s checking account. In the event of her death , will I be able to access the account in order to pay funeral costs prior to probate?

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I am a co-signer on my mom’s checking account. In the event of her death , will I be able to access the account in order to pay funeral costs prior to probate?

I am a co-signer on my mother’s checking account. In the event of her death, will I
be able to access the account in order to pay any funeral costs prior to probate?

Asked on July 9, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It depends on your capacity as co-signor.  If you only have signing capacity, but not ownership interest, then the bank could (and most likely will) make the decision that the funds belong to your mom's estate.  From that point, they will need a document (probate, affidavit of heirship...) to prove that you now have permission to use the funds. 
If you are more than a co-signor, but also have some type of right of survivorship (as with a joint account or payable on death clause), then you will still have immediate access to the funds because you would be an owner with the right of immediate access to the funds.


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