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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25468
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have a joint bank account with my late mother, could you

Resolved Question:

I have a joint bank account with my late mother, could you please tell me if the money now belongs to me ,or is half mine and the other half belongs to the estate or does all of the money belong to the estate, because I. have the letter of administration and I just want to do what is right. Some people say its mine, because I was joint with my mum and some are saying its only half is mine and the other half the estate. Please could you give me the correct answer
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask the reason you shared a joint bank account with yout mother please - e.g. was this just for convenience so you could easily pay her bills but the money all belonged to her or was there another reason and some of the money in the account belonged to you?

Customer: The money in the account was my mothers, my mum put me on the account because one of my sisters that was supposed to be looking after her was robbing money off her and she put my name on the account .the account was just in me and my mums name.
Customer: All the money in the account was my mothers.
Joshua :

Thank you for the above. I am just about to go out for the evening. With your permission rather than giving you a rushed response now may I revert to you in detail in the morning?

Joshua :

If that is alright with you, you will receive or at least should receive an email when I respond but in any event it should be before 11am.

Joshua :

Is that ok by you?

Customer: Yes that's fine I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks.
Joshua :

Thank you for the above.

Joshua :

The starting point is that if the account was in joint names, any money in the account automatically passes to you upon your mothers death by survivorship unless your mother notified the bank that the account should be maintained other than jointly which was not the case from what you say. However this default position has been modified by the decision handed down in Re the Estate of Edith Mary Northall Deceased in June 2010 by Mr Justice Richards who decided that that, where a sum of money belonging to a mother was paid into a joint bank account with her son (in this case), there was a presumption that the mother did not intend to make a gift of it to the son on her death. Accordingly the court decided that the money was held on something called a resulting trust by the son for his mother.

Joshua :

In this case, the joint account was opened for reasons of convenience and no thought or consideration was given to a right of survivorship by the mother, ie the automatic passing of the account balance to the son on his mother's death. Although the account opening form provided for survivorship, this did not assist the son's argument, given that there was no evidence that this part of the form was explained to Mrs Northall or drawn to her attention. There was no agreement between mother and son to the effect that the money was to become his as the surviving bank account holder. The balance of the account at the date of Mrs Northall's death therefore was decided formed part of her estate to be dealt with under the terms of her will. It was decided that her son was accountable to her estate for all the amounts paid out of the joint account in his favour, except for sums which, on the evidence, were found to be authorised by Mrs Northall herself.

Joshua :

Accordingly a default starting position is that you can claim the monies by right of survivorship however if this is challenged by any other beneficiairies and they indicated that they are prepared to litigate on the matter is necessary, in order to successfully defend such a claim, you would need to be able to show that your mother intended to make a gift of the money to in the account to you in order to sustain your position.

Joshua :

Accordingly it is up to you how you wish to proceed. It is quite legal for you to keep the money as your own by survivorship but would need to consider the position carefully as above if that decision was subsequently challenged. Alternatively you may prefer to give up the money to the estate if you cannot show that your mother intended the money to be a gift and distribute it under the terms of her will or if no will was made, the intestacy rules in order to avoid any possibility of contention.

Joshua :

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?

Joshua :

Has the above answered your questions satisfactorily?

Joshua :

I am logging off now probably for most of the day. If you ave any further questions, please do come back to me - I will revert to you as soon as possible which will likely be tomorrow if that is alright. I hope the above has been of assistance in the meantime. Alternatively if you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me.

Customer: Thank you for your answer, the only proof I have is that my mum said to me in front of my nephew and her niece, that she did not want the others getting this money it's for you and Peter her grandson.
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