Online Joint Bank Accounts
Joint bank accounts are accounts which have two (or more) people with full access to and use of the bank account. In some types of accounts each person can make withdrawals and deposits without the knowledge or consent of the other party involved, write checks on the account, and make autonomous decisions regarding the money in that account. Other joint accounts are set up in such a way as to require that each signatory sign for each transaction.
Choosing whether or not to share a bank account with someone can be a bit daunting. It can be a constant source of marital stress if you and your spouse do not share similar attitudes towards earning, saving, and spending money, and it can strain a relationship beyond the breaking point when one person makes a poor financial decision with money that belongs to both. In the eyes of the partners, one may feel more entitled to the money than the other by dint of having deposited more into the account, but legally it doesn’t work like that. In the eyes of the law, it doesn’t make any difference who contributed more money to the account, or who took more out. The law dictates that both parties share equally in the assets held in the account.
It is possible for more than two people to share a bank account, and in these situations there are many options available to regulate the use of the money, such as requiring all parties’ signatures on every transaction. These are known as tenants-in-common accounts.
What happens to the money in a joint account when one of the signatories dies is something that should be decided when the account is opened. An account in which the money in the account is divided evenly between the surviving account holders is called a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, or JTWRS account.
There are other ways to set up joint accounts, and your bank will likely have many different choices for you to consider. Think carefully about the best way to set the account up, and good luck.