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Wills & Probate

My dad put my name on his checking account so that I could sign checks for him. Now that he is dead, the bank says that I can withdraw the money. Is that right?

This is a confusing situation in Florida. From the bank’s point of view, if your name was on the account you could have taken out money – even all the money – before your dad died. The bank is protected by Florida law regardless of who put the money into the account. However, the courts in Florida have held that such accounts could be a “convenience account,” which is really property of your dad, and now belongs to his estate. Unless you are the sole beneficiary, this has the potential to create some conflict between yourself and the estate, and legal counsel is needed.