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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The pros and cons of joint accounts

How many people who have joint accounts with someone else did some research into the legal ramifications of the account before opening it? In my experience, almost nobody really understands the full meaning of a joint bank or investment account, but they go ahead and open them anyway. Though these accounts run smoothly while everyone is alive and getting along, the consequences can be devastating once things change.

I'm attaching an article by Gail Bebee of, which talks about joint accounts. My concern is always the estate planning consequences, but in this article Ms. Bebee covers other scenarios as well. Click here to read the article.

The article concludes with a quote from yours truly about the use of a power of attorney rather than adding a child as a joint owner to your account. I cannot say strongly enough that more parents need to do this rather than creating the financial, emotional, and mental stresses that can arise from adding your kids to your accounts.

1 comment:

  1. This is a completely random question. My only brother who is a very wealthy man has several hundred thousands of pounds invested to provide him with a comfortable living until he dies. He has recently met a new woman who he very quickly moved into his home and now they are getting married. My sisters and I are concerned she is only after his money. He says he has made a will leaving her the house, car and a generous amount of money and that the rest will go to me and my two sisters if we outlive him. Can she, once they are married, contest his will? He seems totally blinkered to this woman and her family. Thanks.


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