Since I’m beneficiary on stocks, if my husband dies will it go to me, our or his kids?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Since I’m beneficiary on stocks, if my husband dies will it go to me, our or his kids?

My husband has cancer with 6 months to live. His kids hadn’t been around but now that he is sick they call and come by sometimes. They think that they are going to take our joint bank account and his stocks. Will they get everything? How can I protect myself?

Asked on June 1, 2019 under Estate Planning, Rhode Island


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

While you should consult in person with an attorney to be sure, since the lawyer can check the exact paperwork, details, etc., as a general matter:
1) A joint bank account becomes the property of the surviving account holder when one account holder dies--it does not go through probate, and other heirs or beneficiaries do not have a chance to, and will not, inherit from it.
2) If someone is specifically designated as the beneficiary on stocks or an investment account, it also goes directly to them when the owner passes away, does not go through probate, and is not inherited by anyone other than the beneficiary.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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