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What if a joint bank account owner puts on a non-family member on account?

What if the joint bank account owner puts on another person (non-family member) on the account for convenience only to help pay bills but is not listed on the person's WILL as a beneficiary? Can that joint owner take the money even though they have not contributed any money of their own to that account?
Status: Open    Sep 30, 2015 - 01:44 PM


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Expert Answers

Oct 07, 2015 - 08:22 AM

Any joint owner of an account has full ownership of the money in the account, just like a husband and wife often do. If a co-owner dies, the money belongs in full to the surviving owner. A better solution is to set up a power of attorney for the other party, which can be limited to a restricted list of activities/assets and the POA must act in the best interests of the 'principal' (person who owns the account).

Oct 07, 2015 - 08:32 AM

If someone is listed joint, they can take money out of the account, even if they didn't contribute to it. That designation supercedes a will. Therefore, in the will or not, they can take out of that account if they are joint.

Oct 07, 2015 - 08:35 AM

Joint accounts are often opened for convenience sake with a family member or a non-family member. It does not matter who has, or has not, contributed to that account.

Once an account is jointly owned, both owners have 100% rights to that account. Either owner has the right to spend, give away or transfer funds without the consent or knowledge of the other account holder. Joint accounts carry the right of survivorship when an account owner dies- so the remaining account owner has the right to all the funds.

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