Who Gets the Money in the Joint Checking Account?
People often open a joint account with a child or caretaker so that they can help take care of bills and expenses as they age. This is typically done for convenience but once that person dies determining who owns the money in the account may not be as easy as you think.
Under ORS 708A.470, the sums remaining in a bank at the death of a party to a joint account are rebuttably presumed to belong to the surviving party. What this means in is that the child or caretaker on the account owns the remaining money but you may be able to fight it. Most people assume that the Will determines who receives the money in the account.
The rebuttable presumption under ORS 708A.470 may be overcome by evidence that the deceased party (1) intended a different result; or (2) lacked capacity when the joint account was established.
Although not as convenient as opening a joint account, there are many other ways to plan your estate so that you can be protected as you age. I've written about them here.