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My mother left my father who she is 30 years younger then 10 years ago, at the time he was losing his eye sight due to cataracts and started needing help doing daily things. I moved in and started taking care of him. We moved his banking out of her account and to a whole diffferent bank in a joint account in my and his name. This bank had no knowledge of my mother what so ever and she has never had knowledge of this account. For the past 10 years she has not bothered with him at all, he became bedridden and past this week. Not only did she take over everything as far as planning his final wishes,and she isnt even carrying them out, i just found out she went to the bank and tried to empty the account. They didnt allow her to but they did tell her information about my banking history. She knew my account balance and all!! Is this legal? I feel this is an invasion of my privacy, let alone alot of other things!
The issue, based on your post is whether your mom ever divorced. If she is still married to your Dad, the law makes her the "apparent" heir which means she has some legal clout. I assume your Dad did not leave a will excluding Mom. Mom has likely taken her case to probate court.
However, since you and Dad opened a separate JOINT account, you are beneficiary of that joint account. The legal theory is that the joint account is a CONTRACT between you and Dad which falls OUTSIDE probate jurisdiction.
In this case (and you should ckeck it out), Mom may have a letter of authority from the probate court as appointed "executrix". In such case, she has the authority to get the balance just as she has the right to debt verification. OK so far. Now it gets a little tricky.
Mom as executrix has to offset Dad's assets against his debts. Whatever is left goes to her. The point is that 1/2 of your joint account belongs to Dad's estate. The other half belongs to you irregardless of Dad's debts notwithstanding a personal agreement otherwise between you and Dad.
Now, I see that you added some information indicating that your 14 year old brother and Mom's boyfriend made the bank inquiry. More complications. Ouch! LOL.
Not really. One scenario is that they were acting as agents for MOM with a letter of authority. Perfectly reasonable. Age of brother and Boyfriend status is relatively moot.
Bottom line is you have the "right as survivor" to the joint bank account. Dad's 50% goes to his estate. Your 50% goes to you. This is a general answer since things are very complicated and therefore very arguable in Probate litigation. Lawyers and Judge aren't sure in many cases. As to Dad's compitency when he and you opened the joint account, no problem (he had reasonable faculties). As to any motive because you took care of him, no problem (relatively moot).
As to "invasion of privacy" - forget it. GOOD LUCK!
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