My Legal | Joint Accounts

As my clients get older, they often want to add an adult child or other family member to their checking account.

While this can be useful for handling financial matters such as paying bills, it also comes with a down-side that people should be aware of.

When you add someone to your bank account, say an adult child, you are making them a co-owner of that account and are opening-up that account to all of the liabilities of that adult child.

Even if you trust your child, you cannot control what happens in your child’s life – such as accidents or divorce – technically the money in your account could be taken to settle your child’s problems.  I do believe that joint accounts can be useful, but caution my clients these accounts should only have as much money as a client is able to lose without serious financial stress.

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