Why Seniors Should Not Share a Joint Bank Account with an Adult Child
Case Study: 85 year old Mom comes to see me because she received a notice from her bank that her entire savings account is frozen. There is a court judgment against her by VISA credit card. Mom does not have a Visa account. Grown-up son does. Mom put grown-up son on her bank account so he could “take care of her” if she got sick. What Mom didn’t know is that she made HER money now her son’s money, too. What Mom also did not know is that son did not pay his Visa credit card.
Beware seniors: you might think that by putting your child’s name on a bank account (or home) you are saving a trip to the lawyer’s office. Why do you need a power of attorney or will if your child is already on the account?
As you can see by the illustration above, adding a child to a bank account may expose the parent’s hard earned money to that child’s creditors.
Another reason not to take this short cut, if the child is married, and then gets divorced, YOUR money is his money and is subject to division in the divorce.
Need another reason? For even the best intentioned child, the temptations of money may be too great. Maybe they have an alcohol or drug issue? Maybe they need to pay off debts. The child may feel that there is no true harm by taking some money “early”.
Think again, Mom. Keep your money safe.
Call the Law Offices of Debra G. Simms at 386.256.4882 to learn more.
This blog post is not case-specific and is provided only for educational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Blog topics may or may not be updated and entries may be out-of-date at the time you view them.