The answer to this is almost always, no. Adding someone to your bank account, even someone you trust inherently, can have huge risks.
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When you add someone to your bank account, they have all the same rights and ownership of the account as you. This means, they have full ownership and access to all of your money in that account.
If they wanted to, they could completely empty out your account.
They will also immediately inherit that account upon your death, even if you wanted it to be split among a variety of people or wanted it to go elsewhere.
Because they are an owner of the account, if they get divorced, their ex-spouse may be entitled to split those assets. If they get sued or have creditors, those assets will be at risk.
It can be very difficult to remove a child from the account.
Finally, it can hurt them if they need financial aid for college for their children.
So how can you protect your assets and get help with your banking and finances?
Estate planning and appointing a Power of Attorney.
If you have a tailored estate plan in place, it will ensure your money goes where you want it to go.
We also draft effective Durable Power of Attorney documents, so that banks can work with your appointed agent.
Appointing a child as a power of attorney, instead of listing them on the account, allows them to help you with your banking without being entitled to your assets. They also are held to a fiduciary standard and should not act against your best interest.
Your child can be appointed as an immediate power of attorney, so they can help with banking immediately.
Let us know if you need help with your estate plan, your powers of attorney, or if you have legal questions.
Contact us today to help you get the right documents in place or to update your current estate plan. We will plan so that you don’t have to worry about your future.
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