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Joint Bank Accounts

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Financial institutions such as banks, credit unions and trust companies may offer customers the option to set up a joint account.
When the phrase “joint bank account” or “joint account” is used in this brochure it refers to joint accounts at financial institutions.


Joint accounts are bank accounts in which two or more people have ownership rights over the same account.
These rights include the right for all account holders to:

– deposit,
– withdraw,
– deal with the funds in the account,
– no matter who puts the money into the account.


1) As a joint account holder, you share equal access to the account and responsibility for all the transactions made through
the account.

2) In most cases, unless you state otherwise, the other account holder can make transactions without your consent.

3) In some cases, it may be possible to specify that the consent of all joint account holders is required to access the funds in the account.

4) In many cases, joint accounts include the right of survivorship. This means that if one of the account holders dies, the surviving account holder becomes the owner of the account, with the right to deposit, withdraw, and deal with the funds in the account.

5) However, in some cases this could be challenged by others who may think they have an interest in the money in the account as an inheritance. The surviving joint account holder may have to demonstrate that the deceased account holder intended the remaining funds be a gift to the joint account holder. This could potentially lead to delays in the surviving account holder being able to access funds in the account


• If one of the account holders has unpaid debt, the funds in your joint account may be used to pay that debt
• You’re responsible for all account fees, including any fees (like overdraft fees) incurred by other joint account holders
• You may lose full control of your money; depending on your account privileges, your joint account holders can withdraw all funds from the account without your permission
• You lose privacy because your joint account holders can view your account transactions
• In the case of a marital breakdown of one of the joint account holders, the account could be considered a matrimonial asset and divided accordingly
One must understand that there is always a chance that the other account holder could misuse their authority.

As we all age, there might come a time when we need help with managing our money. In fact, recent research shows that one of the first signs of cognitive decline is the inability to manage finances..

Alternatives to joint accounts:
a) CONVENIENCE ACCOUNT: These accounts allow someone, whom you have authorized, to use it for your benefit. It’s similar to having a financial power of attorney, but for only one bank account. The person can make transactions on your convenience account but doesn’t inherit the money from the account, and you are still the sole owner of the account, so the money would be protected from the other person’s creditors.

Rather than using a joint account as a way to allow another to watch your account for fraud, consider opening a view-only account. A view-only account allows you to give someone you trust, like a loved one, the ability to monitor your account without having access to the money.
View-only access could be as simple as receiving an extra bank statement in the mail or asking your bank to provide online access without the ability to make a transaction.