Ask The Banker: Joint bank accounts and the right of survivorship

When one individual dies, the ownership of a joint account generally goes to the survivor, Oregon Pacific Bank President and CEO Ron Green said.

Posted: Dec. 17, 2018 5:50 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- When one individual dies, the ownership of a joint account generally goes to the survivor, Oregon Pacific Bank President and CEO Ron Green said.

What happens to a joint checking account if one person dies?

Some of it is personal preference, Green said. With an account jointly owned by a husband and wife, for example, it is automatically with the right of survivorship -- the surviving spouse is the account owner and can use the money.

The legal need to remove a deceased spouse from the account isn’t that prevalent, but you can bring the bank a copy of the death certificate and ask them to make the change.

Green said there might be some other legal processes through an estate settlement for your deceased spouse that might ask you to wait.

There isn’t a need to do it right away, and it’s really up to you on a joint account.

If you have a banking or finance question for Green, click here

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