Are you thinking about creating a jointly owned account? Many people choose to make this financial move. While this is a popular option, it is important to consider both the pros and cons of joint account ownership before making this decision. Take a look at the following considerations.
- Many people choose to create a bank account that includes joint ownership because it is convenient to handle finances between two people. Most married couples choose to create this type of account. This is also thought to be a beneficial option for elderly individuals who allow family members to help make important financial decisions.
- All of the assets in a jointly owned bank account avoid the lengthy and expensive process of probate. This makes it easier for assets to be distributed after death. If you have a loved one who you want to your bank account assets to be given to after death, this can be a great option.
- Whoever jointly owns the bank account with you will have full access to the account funds at all times. If you jointly own an account with someone who is irresponsible or untrustworthy, you could quickly lose your hard earned money.
- Creditors can easily take the funds in your jointly owned bank account. Even if you are not responsible for the creating the debt, your hard earned money may be taken from you.
- If you have a jointly owned account, you may be ineligible for certain benefits such as Medicaid. Even if you do not have a lot of income, the fact that you have a jointly owned account open with other funds may mean that your asset level is too high for certain government programs.
If you have questions about the benefits and dangers of jointly owned accounts, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.